Deadmalls.com good website for retailing failures

Deadmalls.com good website for retailing failures

     As I passed by my local mall, Moreno Valley Mall, I am reminded of what could’ve been.  

     However, even after losing Anna’s Linens to a smaller (probably cheaper) strip mall next the 99 Cent Only store, the mall is gaining a new tenant in the form of Crunch Fitness.  That’s head-scratching addition considering a one point Mo Val officials had touted that the mall was becoming an “entertainment destination” after Round 1 opened last summer.  

     When I see movies at the Harkins Theatre (a replacement for what was going to be a Bullock’s), and see all the empty storefronts (It is said to be 93% leased, maybe I’m blind.) I also look for a defibrillator. I mean the mall is on life-support, in my honest opinion.  

     Gaining a movie theatre was a godsend, but the mall lost an anchor when Gottschalk’s when into retail heaven a couple of years ago.  General Growth Properties, who owned the mall, sold it along with other money losing properties to the Spinoso Realty Group of Syracuse, NY.  Spinoso has its work cut out for them.

    Anyway, my news about Moreno Valley is coming on a later post for Mall World.  Today, I’m directing your attention to the website, Deadmalls.com.  It’s a website that pays its respects to regional malls that have given up its fight for profits.  You might recognize a few names (Central City Mall anyone?).  

     A second website that kicked some butt was labelscar.com.  It did a better job at updating and had a longer list of casualties.  Unfortunately, the website seems to have joined the malls it covered in the afterlife.  Clicks on links provided by Google got me a 404 error.  The website no longer lives. *sniff*

     At any rate, as I patiently wait for a reply from Laurie Lucas of The P.E., check out the website http://www.deadmalls.com and tell me some stories of the malls you may have visited that are in retail heaven.  Go ahead, I’m listening.

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Ontario Mills continues to reinvent itself

News out of Ontario is that mall/outlet/destination hybrid Ontario Mills has added a new tenant, Express.  Notice they didn’t say Express Outlet.  Just Express.  So I can probably accurately guess that this store will change full price for their merchandise.

That the Mills has added another retailer to their mix isn’t news.  The mall is kind of like the old Fergie song, when one store closes it doesn’t stay empty for long.  Stores that closed at one point have come back, bigger and better.  Take Sports Authority, for example.

What surprised me after reading The PE’s Laurie Lucas’ report on Friday, was how continues to renovate.  The Mills needed bigger restrooms.  Has there ever been a time when there wasn’t a line outside the ladies room?  Apparently Simon heard the complaints and will shortly open “family style” restrooms between neighborhoods 3 and 8 in November.

Lucas also reported that the Mills has also welcomed over 70 new or renovated stores within the past two years.  Sounds like I need to visit the mall personally and see the changes.

Changes were made to the food court as well.  Consumers get to choose from 11 eateries and will enjoy their meal in more comfortable furnishings.

You would think that a destination that supposedly attracts more visitors than Disneyland wouldn’t fix anything that isn’t broken.  However, like Disneyland, the Mills must bring in retailers that give visitors (and their money) a reason to come back.  After all, go further east on the I-10 and Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon beckons.  They can brag about being declared the best outlet center in the country by GQ Magazine.  It too, is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation that will add an additional 60 retailers to the outlet center.

Of Note:  The Promenade in Temecula had added Lids to its retail mix. . . .The store had been listed in its directory for a long time. . . .Lake Elsinore Outlets adds a Puma Store to its mix. . . .A job fair to staff the store was held recently. . . . The question for Lake Elsinore is will the center ever return to its former glory?

Welcome to Mall World

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      You’ve probably read much about the imminent death of the shopping mall.  Well, perhaps you haven’t.  I honesty don’t know which side of the fence you’re sitting on but that’s not the whole point of my post.   

     I just checked out the website for Sydney-based Westfield, a world-wide operator of shopping malls.  Did you know that they operate 22 malls in Southern California?  You did?  Well, good on ya, mate!  

     It is difficult to think that the mall world is dying.  While some stores are here today, gone tomorrow, the mall world is simply going through a reinvention of itself.  What was once a vanilla dull, big box eyesore is now opening up to the elements and including retailers that you wouldn’t think belonged in the mall.

     Moreno Valley Mall is rebranding itself as a entertainment destination.  The recent opening of Round 1 (Japanese equivalent of Dave & Buster’s) along with Harkin’s Theatres has Moreno Valley officials proposing the mall as a place for dates.  Yeah, ok.

     It seems Westfield also thinks it’s great to squeeze every acre in the San Fernando Valley with retail.  Their latest proposal, The Village at Topanga, will bring more retail to an area with two other malls (both owned by Westfield).  On top of that, will be high rise offices and a hotel.

     Downtown Los Angeles will also mark the location of a new mall.  Granted, not brand spanking new, but developers plan on wiping down the former Macy’s Plaza with some Windex and renaming the area The Bloc.  No, I’m not making this stuff up.

     Finally, to prove not mall culture isn’t dead yet, the World Trade Center 2.0 will be the location for yet another Westfield develop.  Go watch the video.  One word:  wow!

     I suppose the reason for wanting to cover the mall world is too practice generating eye balls for a concept that often replaces town centers for a majority of suburbanites.  Malls in some areas have replaced genuine downtowns.  

     What companies like Simon, General Growth and Westfield have to realize is that consumers won’t return if you’re offering the same old stuff.  And that’s where I come in.  Sure there are other writers that write about retail but they won’t cover the mall world the way I plan on doing that job.

     I hope you like what you read.  If you have some good tips or want to share your nickel hit me up at david.parada@yahoo.com.

     I hope to continue updating this blog daily.