A 40-year-old property just northeast of Los Angeles see more visitors than Disneyland.While many mall owners are spending a lot of time thinking about how to best position themselves due to the changing retail landscape, other proactive landlords have already done that. That’s the fact that General Growth Properties has taken with the Glendale Galleria, a 40-year-old property just northeast of Los Angeles. GGP has invested a whopping $57 million in enhancing this retail landmark, and it continues to thrive as a result.
As Marketwatch shares, foot traffic has never been an issue for this property, and that’s not going to changing anytime soon. As General Manager Brent Gardner explains, 30 million people visited Glendale Galleria last year.
“We see more visitors than Disneyland,” he said.
The property spans a massive 1.6 million square feet, and that space is packed with more than 200 stores. As part of the renovation, the property made plenty of exciting additions, but it also was sure to enhance its existing roster.
“We ended up moving, I think, 42 stores,” he said. “Alike stores are by each other, because, you know, business spurs business.”
Business is thriving, including at the expansive Target store that serves as one of the property’s anchors.
“So it’s three levels, and it was the first multilevel Target in a shopping center,” Gardner continued. “And we actually take a lot of pride in the fact that we do have a lot of firsts.”
As Gardner acknowledges, that’s not the only first that Glendale Galleria can count on its resume, as it boasts the first Apple Store, first Disney Store, and first Panda Express.
“Well, what I can tell you right now is that we have only one vacancy in the center,” he added.
As Anthony Dukes, a marketing professor at the University of Southern California, notes, malls such as Glendale Galleria will continue to thrive, as the experiences they offer just can’t be replicated online. “What physical stores offer is a physical environment to actually inspect, maybe feel the clothing, test drive something, listen to the stereo speakers to see how they sound," he said. “That’s something that online retailing can’t do.”
While that’s true, malls have to offer up other unique characteristics to get people through the door. Glendale Galleria has come up with an innovative way to help make that happen. Sprinkled throughout the mall are some replicas of national monuments that are completely made out of Legos. They were created with a specific purpose in mind, and it’s working. These fabulous decorations have become incredibly popular selfie spots, which ensures the mall is always front and center on social media.
As GGP has shown with this renovation, a combination of a solid retail strategy and thinking outside the box can lead to some stellar results.