Visiting 20 malls in 60 days

ccmall.jpgNow that deserves a medal. L.A. money manager Alex Rubalcava has been tweeting his observations. Among them:

--The age at which young women of a certain size move from Torrid to Lane Bryant seems to go up every year.

--Another, faddish non-traditional tenant: recording studios for kids and groups to make high production value music videos.

--Like Wal-Mart has mentioned many times, malls also see bi-weekly traffic pulses driven by payroll timing.

--Most creative use of dead mall space I saw? A charter high school at a mall in Torrance.

--For the life of me, I don't understand the thinking of adults who buy and wear branded apparel from Abercrombie, American Eagle, etc. Don't they realize that those are kids' brands?

--Forever 21 joins my list of retailers I wish were public so I could see their financials. Along with Trader Joe's and BevMo.

--Department stores seem to have taken a lot of momentum back from specialty stores in apparel. That said, as well as Macy's is doing, they need to standardize their stores a lot more.

--Cotton On (private, Australian) and ANGL (private, US) seem to be ubiquitous and the fastest growing apparel retailers.

--Nobody does center of the mall experiences better than Westfield. Train rides, jumping pens with bungee rope, live music, etc.

--The most successful mall retailer, by a country mile, is Panda Express.

--Weekday traffic at open air malls & lifestyle centers (3rd Street, Century City, Victoria Gardens) is massively higher than indoor malls. The gap narrows on the weekends, when traditional malls show signs of life.

--Big growth in other non-traditional tenants like hair and nail salons, day care centers, etc.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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