Dodging a bullet
It’s been another tough year for the American regional shopping centre. According to the latest data from International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), regional mall sales per square foot declined by -0.3 per cent in the year through November 2017. That followed a decline of -1.6 per cent in 2016 and no change from 2014 to 2015.
Store closures have been up sharply among major retail chains and these have hit the enclosed mall sector particularly severely. This is because malls (the US term for what Australians call ‘regional’ or ‘superregional’ shopping centres) have two critical features that other shopping centres don’t: first, they are invariably anchored by department stores, and second, small specialty shops are skewed heavily toward apparel.
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