February 6, 2005

WM as Anchor in Shopping Mall


This USA Today article about incorporating Target and Neimann Marcus into the same mall discussed how Westfield has included a two story Wal-Mart as a shopping mall anchor in Westfield Shoppingtown Parkway in San Diego.

Many retailers were worried about WM devouring their sales, but at least the coffee shop and designer fashion store were happy when WM opened up in the shopping mall:

"Wal-Mart doesn't sell fashion," said Alberto Tawil, owner of The Pink Room, a nearby store that sells clothes for girls ages 4-16. "I don't think they will affect me."

Stores that don't compete with Wal-Mart, such as a nearby coffee shop, said they expect a swell in sales.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf saw a $300 bump in sales Sunday driven largely by some of the giant retailer's employees, said Stephanie Jones, a vendor at the shop.

"It's exciting," Jones said.

However, when invading new territory, WM and Target have not been waiting for shopping mall developers; instead they're just putting up free-standing stores nearby:

Despite the increase in non-traditional anchors, big-box stores aren't likely to focus exclusively on malls any time soon, says Bucksbaum. The successful chains select sites on a case-by-case basis. While Wal-Mart is putting a few stores in malls, the discount giant is still mainly building freestanding units. Why? Sometimes it is faster for Wal-Mart to buy its own piece of land instead of waiting for someone to develop a mall, says Bucksbaum.

General Growth Properties tried to attract a Target to a new mall that will open this summer in Des Moines, Iowa, but the discounter decided to build its own unit one intersection away from the shopping center. �They [Target] felt that the stand-alone unit would open more quickly and generate business,� says Bucksbaum.

Posted by Kevin on February, 6 2005 at 10:32 AM