Video: Mega Malls and High-End Malls Are Doing Just Fine, Thank You

Solar powered Shake Shack opens in King of Prussia.

An outpost of the New York-based trendy burger chain Shake Shack opened at the King of Prussia Mall last year — with a solar panel-covered roof.

Since 2007, 400 malls in the U.S. have closed. Now comes the filing of bankruptcy protection from both Quiznos and Sbarro, and that’s after the partial demise of mall anchor tenants like JC Penney and Sears. From Yahoo Finance:

A decade ago there were more than 1,100 enclosed shopping malls in the U.S. Since then more than 400 have either been “re-purposed” or closed outright. No new malls have been completed since at least 2009.

Onetime mall devotees like Shoppist editor Emily Goulet are now mall escapees. Of the Oxford Valley Mall, she writes:

It’s dirty. It’s depressing. …The quality of stores has gone down, way down… The stores that remain need a facelift, too. Dressing rooms are in desperate need of a paint job, racks are horrifically disorganized, and everyone just looks like they want to go home. Even the clothes, which sag limply from hangers and hang off the arms of chipped mannequins that look like they’re from about 1987.

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Morning Headlines: Two Local Kmart Locations Will Close

Bye Bye, Big-K! Photo courtesy of Google Street View

Bye Bye, Big K!
Photo courtesy of Google Street View

Yesterday morning, based on a tip from an employee, we broke the news that the Kmart at the Gallery was going to close. Today the Business Journal sounds another Kmart death knell: the location in the Northeast will close as well.

The Gallery location’s closure comes at the cost of 120 employees, who will still have their jobs when liquidation sales begin Sunday, February 9th. Even more to look forward to are PREIT’s choices for new retailers: Will they be high-end, or Forever 21?
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Morning Headlines: PREIT Sees Possibility in JCPenney Closure

Screen shot of JCPenney at Exton Square Mall via Google Street View

Screen shot of JCPenney at Exton Square Mall via Google Street View

JCPenney will be shutting down 33 of its department stores, one of which is located at the Exton Square Mall. However, it looks like the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), the mall’s current owner since 2003, is seeing this as a “when one door closes, another opens” moment.

PREIT has a strong track record in redevelopment of its malls (Cherry Hill, Moorestown, and perhaps, the Gallery?) so the soon-to-be-free 118,00-square-foot space will actually allow the company to re-envision Exton as a retail draw.

PREIT CEO Joseph Cordiano told the Philadelphia Business Journal:

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Will Anthropologie Leave Rittenhouse Square? [UPDATED]

UPDATE: A reliable source tells us that Anthropologie just re-signed, and will, in fact, be staying on.

The circa-1897 Fell-Van Rensselaer building — or as most refer to it, “the Anthropologie building” at 18th and Walnut — was put on the market this summer. At the time, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni said the estimated price could go as high as $40 million. She also noted that Anthropologie, the upscale Urban Outfitters brand, had a “sweet deal” — $14 per square foot.

Indeed, that’s practically cavity-inducing. Jacob Cooper, vice president of MSC, estimates that the market rent for the 25,000-square-foot space on a blended basis — first, second, and third floors combined –would be between $70 and $90 a foot, particularly considering the nontraditional layout of the property.

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Philadelphia Retail Market Trends: Asking Prices Are Up

LoopNet has released some trend data, which is always fun, particularly when represented by colorful lines. Here’s how it breaks down. For sales of retail commercial properties, the median asking price per square foot has increased by 8.6 percent in the last three months, and by 7.9 percent since last year.

The news is also good for lease trends.

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Retail Report: Uniqlo to Open on Chestnut Street in May


Our sister site Shoppist has more details of what we first reported back in August: Uniqlo, which is basically the Japanese H&M, is definitely coming to 1608 Chestnut Street, the four-floor building once home to the Art Institute and Filene’s Basement (though not simultaneously). Sounds like Michael Salove Company handled the sale, which is a shame for Fameco as it seems they were also vying to handle Uniqlo’s business. Putting brokerage competition aside, we’re just happy to see more big-time retail on Chestnut.

Morning Headlines: Former Home of Brasserie Perrier Sells for $18 Million [UPDATED]

1619 walnut street

Screen shot of 1619 Walnut Street via Google Street View.

1619 Walnut Street, home for 12 years to Brasserie Perrier, is smack dab in the middle of Rittenhouse Row, a stretch of Walnut that was — not long ago and more than once — compared to King of Prussia for its retail-centric real estate and open arms to chain stores.

Now one of the least fashion-oriented companies in the U.S. — financial services group TIAA-CREF — has purchased the building (which is anchored on the ground floor by Ulta Beauty Supply) for around $18 million, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

As of press time, TIAA-CREF has not responded to call for comment on planned use for the building; the company has one other Center City location at 1835 Market Street and has not publicly announced a plan to vacate. (An employee at the Market Street location said there were no plans to move at this time.)

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Commonwealth Proper Menswear Has a New Chestnut Street Showroom

Photo by Andrew Bonacci

Photo by Andrew Bonacci

Welcome to Chestnut Street, Commonwealth Proper! Philadelphia Wedding tipped us off to the fact that the local menswear store founded by attorney Craig von Schroeder has moved from its former location at 1732 Spruce Street to 1839 Chestnut (though the entrance is actually on 19th).

Now on the second floor, the new digs are a fine fit for the sophisticated clothing brand. Exposed ductwork, dark blue walls, and white crown molding surround the 2,000-square-foot space for an industrial cool and sleek effect. Designed by Rhonda Clark Carlson of the RCC Design Group, Commonwealth Proper’s crisp new space includes two fitting rooms, two offices, and design and fabric inventory rooms.

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What’s In Store: Mettlers American Mercantile

MettlersMettlers American Mercantile—you know, that rugged, Ralph Lauren-meets-collegiate-prep-meets-crew-team shop that opened in the old church on 21st and Chestnut—rivals Anthropologie in its merchandising and displays. This might be because it’s got a gorgeous backdrop: huge stained-glass windows, romantically arched doorways, intricate woodwork, all the gothic trappings of a former church. But I think it’s also got something to do with the shop’s super-curated selection, the way each piece (all of which are made in America) fits in seamlessly with Mettlers’ aesthetic and brand, something every retailer can tell you is much harder than it looks. Here, some of the standouts on the store floor right now. Psst: Any display pieces or furniture catch your eye? Those are all for sale, too!

One awesome pair of shoes ahead.

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