Three Cool Things at The Mall

by Michael P. Kercheval
CNBC.com

News of the demise of the shopping mall has been all over the press lately. But despite the conviction with which some people are telling this tale, you’re not getting the whole story. It’s true, we don’t build 1980’s malls anymore … and that’s a good thing! The industry is evolving — not only the retailers, but also the properties themselves. According to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries and the International Council of Shopping Centers, the demand for retail space is outpacing supply and shopping-mall occupancy rates have returned to pre-recession levels at 93.6 percent. Furthermore, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 94 percent of retail sales are made through in-store purchases — so while online shopping continues to grow, the in-store shopping experience is still front and center. Step into a shopping center today and you might not recognize your surroundings. Upscale restaurants, IMAX theaters and a myriad of service offerings have replaced the traditional retail-only, food court-centric destinations of your youth. The new shopping center is a social hub and holistic experience center of the future with something to offer all ages and interests.

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