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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  287 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: RIP Sears Roebuck & Co

Malls are tremendously shitty organizations, that are run terribly, and treat tenants as disposable.

For the last 10 years or so, I have been consulting with a company that sells pillows in Westfield malls. They have an 'island store' ... one of the ones that sits out in the middle of the floor, but is on a raised platform, has storage, etc. (Not the cart-style mobile phone case stores.)

They worked with Westfield to determine the best traffic area for her store, and negotiated a rental fee that was based on quantity of foot traffic around that location.

Things worked out pretty well until Westfield decided to do some renovations to the mall, and diverted traffic away from that area. Key stores closed or moved to new locations, so the foot traffic wasn't drawn to that area any more. It became a ghost-town wing of the mall.

Her attempts to move the store were denied, and her attempts to renegotiate the rent for the reduced foot traffic (remember: that was the basis of the rental fee) was denied.

She finally got permission to invest in signs she could place in other parts of the mall to draw traffic into the "ghost town" area... as long as she paid 80% of the cost of the signs (they offered her $500)... which were then not allowed to stand in "high traffic" areas because they would "obstruct the flow" of foot traffic.

Her business went from $24k/mo to $3k/mo. Her rent was $11k/mo.

Eventually she had to close down the shop, and Westfield was happier to have her go away - and make the ghost wing of the mall even more of a ghost town - than to lower her rent, give her a new location, or do literally ANYTHING to help ensure her business stayed in business and continued to pay their rent.

Malls suck ass. Both for the customer, and the vendor.

kleinbl00  ·  287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah they don't have to, though. I agree - Westfield came to us and said "You should spend $1800 a month on a billboard at our mall!" We came back with "can you show us some metrics and demographics on your foot traffic?" and they said "No! We can't! No one has ever asked for that before! You should feel bad for inconveniencing us with your claptrap! This $1800 offer won't last long!"

But there's nothing inherently wrong with the concept of a permanent public market.