The evolving department store, and what might be next for big box

Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

The retail industry continues to evolve dramatically — especially department stores. Originally, department stores served as a one-stop-shop to buy a variety of goods, but to survive in today’s landscape, many have needed to adapt a variety of multi-channel roles.

The pandemic has forced big box retailers to look inward and reevaluate their business models. Growth has been set on the back burner for many major stores, and for now they need to focus on the health and wellbeing of their business.

With this, the path forward for department stores is a little blurry, but there’s still vast possibilities for what’s next.

JCPenney, Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor have all announced their efforts to downsize their business after filing for bankruptcy. This leaves a lot of empty spaces and can bring in plenty of opportunities for malls across the nation. There will be a clear need to invest in stores, while improving omnichannel capabilities.

For the retailers that are staying put within their boxes, there’s going to be more demand to create experiences within, rather than solely providing a place to shop. Experiential retail has been in the works for many years now and has continued to evolve since the pandemic hit, for retailers to better serve their customers. Big box retailers such as Macy’s and Nordstrom have curated experience-driven options within their stores to create new formats in the industry.

The key to reinventing brick and mortar past the pandemic is to create a comfortable environment for shoppers and offer things they can’t get anywhere else. This can be done by bringing in experiential and fulfillment, while creating a safe atmosphere for shoppers.

Across our own portfolio, we’ve seen better-than-expected results in both traffic and performance amid our reopening process. However, when crises like these arise, closures are sometimes unavoidable. As a company we have remained optimistic and will continue to be proactive about the situation.

We’ve seen a clear demand for unique entertainment and alternative at-mall uses that these large-footprint spaces would be perfectly suited for. We plan to take advantage of these opportunities, as we venture into a new phase of redeveloping big box spaces.

Source: Department Store Reckoning – Business Insider
Photo Credit: Pexels

SREG's operational & investment Insight, Expertise & Experience

Find out how SREG's unparalleled level of service, unprecedented expertise, and in-depth industry insight can transform your assets and create significant real estate value.

Subscribe to SREG's The Deal

Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will not share, sell or distribute your information outside our company.

Subscribe to SREG's The Deal

Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will not share, sell or distribute your information outside our company.