Retail as we know it is changing forever. Regional Malls may be a thing of the past, given the success of on line shopping. What are landlords to do with this already improved million square foot facility? Now is the time for adaptive reuse. One such way to redeploy department store space is described in the attached article. To bring this message closer to home, be watchful of the changes afoot at University Square Mall, near USF. I think there will be some residential components added to the Mall, especially for off campus housing, senior housing, and recuperation housing for patients/families visiting the numerous hospitals near the USF campus: Moffitt, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, The VA.
While the trend in retail is definitely reducing the need for large footprints of big box retailers, there is another trend afoot. You may have heard of BOPIS, buy on line pick up in stores? You can already do this very successfully with Best Buy, Walmart and in a real sense, the grocery stores. Be on the lookout for smaller footprint “showrooms” where you can actually see, feel, try on products and then have it shipped to your home. Nordstrom is trying this model out right now. So it’s like the opposite of BOPIS!
Personally, the idea of not going shopping for staples and for items that are already known to me, like the Scrabble game I just ordered and sent to my parents for Thanksgiving fun, is a great time saver. I frequently order up groceries at three pm for delivery that evening! I shop for my daughters on line and have the gifts sent directly to them. On- line shopping can often make you look like you are really organized, with your presents arriving just in time. In truth, you leveraged the two day Amazon standard Prime delivery, or paid for expedited shipping. In any case, you look good!