The Galleria in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, opening up its doors to non-traditional mall tenants.These days, it’s pretty hard to go more than a few weeks without hearing about another retailer closing its doors or shuttering unprofitable locations. Typically, that news is followed by the return of what can best be described as a ‘doom and gloom’ narrative for the future of brick-and-mortar stores and the retail landscape as we know it. While there’s no denying that changes are afoot in some retail sectors, a good portion of that is due to a little thing called evolution.
Savvy retail companies are well aware of this concept, and they adopt a mindset along the lines of ‘adapt or die.’ The same can be said for prescient shopping mall owners and property managers. While their neighbors are faced with unattractive empty faces that they struggle to rent out, these savvy landlords have adapted to the times. As a result, their locations are thriving - and there’s plenty we can all learn from their strategies.
As The Tribune-Democrat shares, The Galleria in Johnstown, Pennsylvania has been faced with the same challenges as other mall operators. Since opening back in 1992, the 1.2 million square foot shopping center has been a retail haven. Fast forward to the past few years, and the forecast hasn’t always been so sunny. Stores have closed, anchors have left, and consumer habits have changed - but The Galleria hasn’t withered up and died.
“The malls that are staying successful are changing with the times,” explains Bill Trevorrow of mall operator CCN Properties.
For The Galleria, that has meant opening up its doors to non-traditional mall tenants such as office spaces and entertainment venues. That’s part of a larger trend that savvy mall operators continue to adapt to, but The Galleria is slightly ahead of the curve.
“I’ve been showing spaces in the mall to home health-care businesses, insurance agencies ... and a lot of other firms that might not have been inside a mall years ago,” Trevorrow continues, while adding that malls are “ becoming new Main Streets.”
Trevorrow is right on the money. Successful malls are typically part of the core of a community, and that community will stand by it during rough times - provided the owners and operators adapt with the times and stay devoted to the shopping center’s upkeep.
Even The Galleria’s traditional tenants are on board with The Galleria’s openness to try new things to ensure the center remains a thriving destination.
“It’s all positive. Those workers are supporting the stores. They’re shopping after work, and it also brings in their clients, who end up supporting the mall as well,” said Boscov’s store Manager Rick Bausher.
28 FEBRUARY 2017, USA