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Could This Be The Answer To All That Vacant Space?



Today’s consumers are looking for activities that engage them, and then they’ll do some shopping in the surrounding stores.
There are a few undeniable facts about the current retail landscape. First, a number of large department store chains are shuttering locations in a bid to remain viable. The majority of the soon-to-be-shuttered locations will likely be in malls and centers that were in need of a facelift in the first place, and those same properties will now be faced with the unenviable task of looking to fill a large amount of space. 

Second, the shopping and retail experience as a whole has undergone a seismic shift. Gone are the days of simply browsing and shopping as a means of entertainment. Today’s consumers are looking for activities that engage them, and then they’ll do some shopping in the surrounding stores. Finally, the restaurant segment continues to enjoy explosive growth. Few things continue to pull people out of their homes as consistently as the desire to go out and grab a bite to eat, and the segment shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. 

There’s actually a concept out there that checks off all three boxes, and property owners and managers that are scratching their heads in the wake of a department store defection would be wise to take notice. As reported by The Street, Dave & Buster’s has their sights set on expansion, and the concept makes almost too much sense as a potential solution for the vast space needs of centers and malls that may be facing peril. 

Dave and Busters

For starters, the concept of Dave & Buster’s checks off all of the boxes that today’s consumers are looking for, and it’s stated perfectly in the company’s tagline: Eat, Drink, Play & Watch Sports. Dave & Buster’s features a full-service restaurant, a bar, and a wealth of interactive entertainment options, including a video arcade. We’re not talking about the token and quarter eating machines of our youth either, but rather the latest and greatest in high-tech interactive entertainment that draws a crowd - and a line waiting to try it out. 

Secondly, the locations are absolutely massive. For its small-format stores, the company requires a minimum of 26,500 square feet, while its largest stores check in at a whopping 40,000 square feet. That’s an incredible amount of space for a venue that checks off numerous boxes to boot. There are currently 81 Dave & Buster’s locations in select markets across North America, and the concept has been a huge hit in the markets it has infiltrated. 

The company has its sights set on expanding to 200 stores in the near future as well, so this isn’t anything resembling fitting a square peg into a round hole. Dave & Buster’s needs space. Property owners that have large amounts of space to fill need to take heed. If not, we can be certain that there will be plenty of enterprising developers that will find a way to make them the centerpiece of some exciting new developments. 

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