New data finds malls are the emptiest they’ve been since 2012 because of online shopping.
Texas Retailers Association President and CEO George Kelemen said we're in the middle of malls evolving right now to find a balance between online and brick and mortar.
“Retail isn’t ending as we know it, it’s just evolving and changing. But, a lot of it related to changing demographics and whatever area that location might be,” said Kelemen.
He said mall vacancies have to do with the bigger picture of the evolving nature of retail.
“It simply can’t be about just sort of going. There’s got to be sort of an interactive piece in it,” said Kelemen.
The Woodlands Mall General Manager Ted Harris said they currently have about 160 operators in the mall, which has been fairly consistent for the past few years.
“It’s more of an overall experience coming to the mall, it’s not just walking into a store anymore,” said Harris.
He said everyone has felt some form of effect from the online shopping frenzy.
“Our customers want more of an experiential feel when they come to the mall, so we’re trying to add experiences besides just shopping,” said Harris.
He said to keep your eyes open because they're always trying to do different things.
They now offers experiences like a virtual reality area.