Despite e-commerce, shopping malls continue to see growth
By Shawl Pryor
As of Wednesday, December 17, 2014
While online shopping has become prevalent among consumers, trends clearly suggest that in-person shopping is here to stay. Despite the major growth in e-commerce, consumers continue to do the majority of their shopping at brick and mortar stores. This is because stores do not just offer products for consumers to purchase — they also offer a social experience that online shopping can never replace. During this holiday season, you can experience that excitement in Gwinnett County’s central business district at Gwinnett Place.
Malls continue to act as social hubs for families, friends and neighbors to gather. Now more than ever, destinations like Gwinnett Place Mall are offering more than just products on a shelf — malls offer social interaction, entertainment, a place for families to reunite and serve as a gathering point where our diverse communities can come together.
With retail areas across the country in the midst of the holiday shopping season, we are seeing a trend where retail shopping is effectively competing with online shopping. And, that fact is no more true than throughout greater Gwinnett Place. This area offers thousands of unique and specialty opportunities in Gwinnett’s original and foremost retail super center. Here you can indulge in all of the best shopping, entertainment and dining venues including Best Buy, Dave & Buster’s, Bahama Breeze, Studio Movie Grill, Fry’s Electronics, hhgregg and Toys “R” Us.
Gwinnett Place Mall has national retailers such as Gymboree, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale American Eagle, Footlocker, Auntie Ann’s, Bath & Body Works, Champs, Victoria’s Secret, Claris Boutique, Perfumania, Express, Payless Shoes, Finish Line, GNC, Forever 21, Hot Topic, Things Remembered and Spencer gifts, just to name a few. We have recently opened SK Jewelers, LA Michoacana Ice Cream Parlor, Akaily’s Toy Store, Hair Envy, Naturally Feminine, See Me Jump, Live Arts Theatre, Curry Cuisine, LaLa’s Bakery, Charisma Coffee, Go! Calendars and more to be announced soon. With this lineup, there is no need to head anywhere else.
While e-commerce is growing, shopping at malls, like Gwinnett Place Mall, have continued to see a net gain in sales and increases in occupancy. We at Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC, a private equity investment fund and new owner of Gwinnett Place Mall, see the opportunities that the mall has for today, and we are planning a new and exciting direction for its future success.
We have seen success across the country. Our company acquired more than 8 million square feet in retail space in 2013 and 3 million square feet in 2014. We purchased a struggling mall in Greeley, Colo., and within two years of our ownership we have seen sales almost double. We increased our occupancy at a center outside of Houston from 30 percent to 85 percent in just seven months. We are showing similar results in other malls and shopping centers across the nation.
With malls showing a steady growth in retail traffic and sales, it is no wonder why destinations like Gwinnett Place Mall, are being rediscovered again this holiday season. Happy holidays and shop Gwinnett!
Shawl Pryor is the Senior Vice President at Moonbeam Capital Investments, LLC, a private equity fund specializing redevelopment of distressed commercial and residential properties.
Pryor, S. (2014, December 17) Pryor: Despite e-commerce, shopping malls continue to see growth, Gwinnet Daily Post (December 19, 2014) http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2014/dec/16/pryor-despite-e-commerce-shopping-malls-continue/?news