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Embracing change may be key to surviving the 'retail apocalypse'

The simple fact is that consumers shop differently now than they did prior to the explosion of online shopping. Previously, they went to malls and shopping centers for their retail needs, but now, many people sit at home, order from their electronic devices and wait for boxes to show up at their doors. Consumers here in Orange County are no different, and property owners may need to embrace change in order to survive what those watching the market dub as the "retail apocalypse."

Many people say that online shopping has killed malls and shopping centers. However, others say that it merely requires a change in the variety of tenants in these venues. In order to give consumers what they want, the types of tenants need to reflect their demands. For instance, a shopping center anchored by a popular grocery store chain may do much better than one anchored by a department store.

Consumers often want a "one and done" place to go as well. They want entertainment in the same space in which they do their shopping. This means entertainment such as restaurants with live music, boutique shops and laser tag establishments all in the same place. Urgent care facilities also tend to do well in these environments now.

As the face of retail changes, so must the malls and shopping centers of the country, including those here in Orange County. When landlords begin searching for tenants, they may want to keep this in mind. The old formulas no longer work, and if a mall or shopping center owner fails to keep up with what consumers want, it may not be long before financial trouble begins. By making a paradigm shift, it may be possible to remain a vital, and profitable, part of a community.

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