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This Billionaire Mall Owner Welcomes The Competition From Amazon



Rick Caruso sure that Amazon forces retailers to be smarter and know their customers better.
When you’re faced with some stiff competition from a formidable foe, there are a couple of different paths you can take. First, you can continue with a mindset of business as usual. If your model is strong enough, you may weather the storm. However, there is a risk that your foe will become even more active and render your model obsolete. The second approach calls for you to make some calculated changes in the face of competition, but the rewards can be much greater. The model may become even stronger, and the knowledge you gain along the way can insure you remain in the game for the long run. 

As Forbes shares, it sounds like the latter act is the one that billionaire mall owner Rick Caruso recommends. Caruso sees the substantial market share being gained by Internet giant Amazon, and he’s essentially saying that it’s go time. 

“Amazon has been great for retail,” he said during a recent interview at the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills.

The Grove

Caruso’s most valuable asset is The Grove, the breathtaking outdoor mall and tourist destination in Los Angeles. Needless to say, we’ll trust that he knows what he’s talking about. The Grove continues to pack them in, and while it holds the advantage of being located in a hotspot for retail, the curated concept can be replicated in smaller markets as well. 

He notes that successful companies such as Amazon “forces retailers to be smarter and know their customers better.” 

That’s a fantastic point, and businesses that share a similar mindset as Caruso will continue to thrive in today’s environment. Quite simply, brick and mortar continue to offer up something that Amazon can not: an experience. That’s partially why you hear so much talk about creating an environment conducive to even more experiences of late, and it’s a concept that owners and landlords would be wise to be mindful of.  

“You’re not going to save indoor retail. Four years ago I said the malls are going to die unless you reinvent them,” Caruso continued. 

That’s a fair point as well. Those that choose not to adapt and change with the times place their businesses in peril, and we’ve all read the obituaries of those that decide to follow that path. As Caruso explains it, “good brick and mortar are going to flourish,” and we’ll add to that by saying that great brick and mortar companies will continue to thrive. 

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