As some local mall sites face demolition, others thrive
DES PERES, Mo. (KMOV) -- Some malls in the St. Louis metro are thriving despite the failure and demolition of other suburban shopping centers in the area.
The West County Center has added two new stores in recent months, a Lovesac couch store and Offline by Aerie, which sells active wear. In addition, an Aldo storefront recently reopened.
Sean Phillips, the marketing director for West County Center, said consumers have seemed to enjoy the experience of in-person shopping in the months following the pandemic.
“We’re really fortunate to be experiencing increases in foot traffic and sales,” he said.
Other malls in the area have faced demolition or redevelopment in recent years. On Tuesday, work began tearing down the Jamestown Mall. The Chesterfield City Council approved a plan to demolish a mostly vacant mall to rebuild a mixed-use district in its place.
Nationally, malls seem to be trending upward. Coresight Research, a firm studying US consumer behavior, reported this fall that mall sales had increased 11% in 2022 and that foot traffic had also increased from pre-pandemic levels. The study noted that occupancy rates were increasing, too.
“I think the pandemic made people realize that they enjoy shopping and they enjoy coming to stores,” Phillips said.
Consumers seem to prefer experiences alongside shopping, too. Claire Nelson, the manager of Polished Prints in the Foundry, said the redeveloped district has been a good place to work alongside other small businesses and boutique stores.
“We call it the millennial mall. It’s kind of a more hip way to shop,” she said.
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