News

October 13, 2017
Watching a retail icon rise, fall and reinvent itself

Don Casey grew up in a Sears household. The Sartell resident's father, Donald, worked for Sears nearly his entire adult life, moving the family to St. Cloud in 1952 when he transferred to be assistant manager of the department store downtown. Casey says they were a happy, middle-class family that enjoyed prosperity because of his father's job... »

October 13, 2017
Retail sales in September surge most in 2 years

Americans increased their spending at retailers last month by the most in two and a half years, driven by strong auto sales as residents of hurricane-ravaged areas replaced destroyed cars. Retail sales rose 1.6% in September, after slipping 0.1% in August, the Commerce Department said Friday. Auto sales jumped 3.6%, the most since March 2015.... »

October 13, 2017
New Duplexes, Strip Malls, Restaurants, Atwoods Store, Motel Heading to Webb City Retail District

WEBB CITY, MISSOURI - Construction begins on a multi-million dollar retail district, where Four Staters will soon be able to take advantage of a new housing development, stores, restaurants, and a motel, among other things. This entire development area is called the Centennial Park Retail District, near Highway 171. The City of Webb City purcha... »

October 12, 2017
How a mall-turned-public park saved downtown Columbus

It's officially fall in Columbus, Ohio. I know this because there are children with painted faces bouncing around inside a giant inflatable pumpkin at a harvest fair in a downtown park called Columbus Commons. Nearby, Christopher Patterson is tossing a beanbag, while his 3-year-old daughter runs around on the grass. Patterson recalls a time you ... »

October 12, 2017
A wireless headset let me shoot zombies in a mall in VR

Facebook just announced a wireless Oculus Rift, but there are other virtual reality companies looking to cut its grass. You can even try them out -- if you live in Singapore that is. Using VRstudio's new wireless VR headset, a shopping mall called Bugis+ in the island state is letting customers shoot zombies in VR as part of its Halloween event... »

October 11, 2017
Robots Will Reshape – Not Replace – Retail Work

As we have discussed in earlier blog posts, rapid changes in the retail landscape due to the rise of e-commerce and a shift in customer’s interests from old-school, one-stop department store shopping to experiential retail, has led to a recent wave of retail bankruptcies and store closings. The shuttered stores also mean a loss of retail jobs, in... »

October 11, 2017
Rochester Supercenter introduces self-serve kiosk

ROCHESTER — Rochester’s Farmington Road Walmart Supercenter is the retail giant’s first New England store to unveil a new self-serve kiosk for online order pickups. In recent years, retailers and chains across the country have rolled out changes designed to cut down customers’ wait times and to increase the ease and efficiency of online ... »

October 10, 2017
Hallelujah! Churches are stepping up to fill vacant retail space

Have you heard the one about the priest who walks into a vacant shopping center? As retail’s struggles continue across the country, landlords have started to expand the types of tenants they look at to fill vacancies, and churches are now getting more consideration, according to the Wall Street Journal. Shopping center owners generally cons... »

October 6, 2017
Now that Amazon’s a thing, malls have to get creative to survive

The suburban shopping mall as we know it is dying. Department stores are boarding up, classic mall staples like J. Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch are on death’s door, and Americans are increasingly turning to Amazon for their shopping sprees. But in some cases, a new form of commercial center is taking shape to fill these massive buildings. D... »

October 5, 2017
Mall owner rebrands itself to escape ‘retail apocalypse’ narrative

Malls are changing. As specialty tenants, like Gymboree and Wet Seal, file for bankruptcy, and as department store chains, like Sears and J.C. Penney, scale back their physical footprints, those real estate landlords are left with boxes to fill and room for innovation. Like its peers, CBL & Associates Properties, a Tennessee-based retail real... »

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