The CEO of General Growth Properties, Sandeep Mathrani is a retail veteran. He has seen the rise and fall and again the rise of many malls and stores, including Riverchase Galleria.
The sales and occupancy of the mall dropped to an all-time low when the recession hit, but that did not stop GGP from investing millions of dollars in remodeling the largest indoor mall in the state.
The sales have once again reached pre-recession figures and the occupancy is at 96%. However, Mathrani still finds that he has to try and convince alarmists that the retail arena is thriving.
He said that the death of the shopping mall has been discussed for ages. When it was up against the Home Shopping Network and the catalogue, it was classified as dead. When it came up against the power centres with specialty retail, the same was said. However, the mall has remained.
Aside from the dollar investment by GGP, they also thought about aesthetics.
Sandeep Mathrani stated that the internet will continue to be a challenge to the brick building, but it is not being viewed as the chief competitor. He expects the two to merge as they evolve further.
5 MAY 2014,