Executive Briefings

Coming to Your Local Mall: Online Retailers Beloved by Millennials

Landlords of top U.S. malls used to rent most of their space to the biggest national retailers, which boasted the best credit and the most desirable selection of goods.

Now they are looking beyond big chains and toward lesser-known retailers and startups that started online but have amassed customers and brand recognition.

The reason: such retailers tend to offer novel products that resonate with web-savvy customers, particularly millennials, a massive group of potential customers landlords are eager to cultivate.

Century City, a recently opened 1.3 million square feet open-air mall in west Los Angeles, has a larger-than-average number of tenants that started out as e-commerce retailers. Candy boutique Sugarfina, clothing retailers Bonobos — now a unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. — and Untuckit, eyeglass retailer Warby Parker and Amazon Books all have opened stores in the center, which had been renovated by Westfield Corp.

Some of these stores are showrooms and don’t carry inventory so customers will have their purchases delivered to them or they could pick up their purchases at the store at a later time. Such stores take up less square footage since they have don’t need to hold inventory at the back of the store.

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Now they are looking beyond big chains and toward lesser-known retailers and startups that started online but have amassed customers and brand recognition.

The reason: such retailers tend to offer novel products that resonate with web-savvy customers, particularly millennials, a massive group of potential customers landlords are eager to cultivate.

Century City, a recently opened 1.3 million square feet open-air mall in west Los Angeles, has a larger-than-average number of tenants that started out as e-commerce retailers. Candy boutique Sugarfina, clothing retailers Bonobos — now a unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. — and Untuckit, eyeglass retailer Warby Parker and Amazon Books all have opened stores in the center, which had been renovated by Westfield Corp.

Some of these stores are showrooms and don’t carry inventory so customers will have their purchases delivered to them or they could pick up their purchases at the store at a later time. Such stores take up less square footage since they have don’t need to hold inventory at the back of the store.

Read Full Article