INDIANAPOLIS — Foot traffic in traditional malls around the country has steadily declined over the years — even before the pandemic — and tenants, including major anchor stores, have closed their doors, leaving significant gaps in mall occupancy.
According to an outlook on the future of malls in Forbes, journalist Brin Snelling writes although malls are going through a period of reformation, that doesn't mean shoppers don't still find a purpose for malls. The real estate strategist writes that shoppers will still see a need to go to the mall in the future, but malls "will have to continue adapting to keep younger shoppers interested."
Although some malls have seen a decline in shoppers, a spokesperson for The Fashion Mall at Keystone, a Simon Property Group location, says they've seen nothing but growth in the last few years.
"We're continuing to see our shoppers return. They're looking to touch, try, buy. They want to feel, they want to see, and they want to experience in-person shopping. And we've seen that not only just continuing to climb, you know, the past few years. So we're seeing that from the restaurant perspective and a retail perspective," Danielle Parker, the director of marketing and business development, told WRTV.
The Fashion Mall, a shopping center known for housing luxury and upscale brands, has added several new tenants to its east and west wings and "Fashion Cafe" over the last 6 months.
In the mall's cafe, shoppers will now find HoiTEA ToiTEA and Hard Truth Bar open. Sweetgreen will soon join the cafe offerings in the next couple of weeks as well.
Big Woods, the parent company of Hard Truth, will also be opening a restaurant in the cafe in the next couple of weeks, next to Shake Shack, which first opened at The Fashion Mall last year. Another future food option foodies can look forward to is Doc B's Restaurant and Bar.
Recently opened shopping options include Levi's, Nike, Gucci, and Hammitt by Purse Strings. L'Occitane will be opening in the coming weeks, and Evereve will be opening later this year.
"We're really elevating those types of experiences and the products that are demographic here in Indianapolis, in the state of Indiana, are wanting to see," Parker said. "There's truly no other experience like The Fashion Mall."
Parker says The Fashion Mall is thriving by just continuing to do what it's been doing since it first opened.
"I would say The Fashion Mall's goal is to continue to be the Indiana premier luxury shopping destination. With over 100 brands, you see that our goal as property owners is to continue to elevate the type of retail experiences you see within our walls and bring new experiences and restaurants to the building as well," Parker said.
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WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.