What creative new uses are starting to infiltrate retail centers?

Trish Palumbo
Director of Leasing
Klein Enterprises

“We are seeing creative buy and sell boutique concepts, a.k.a. consignment shops, with a twist or two, including the sale of new and used merchandise and a combination of two or more product categories. One tenant is a consignment shop that also sells local apothecaries, handmade soaps and candles, and offers beer and wine sales. Another is a vintage furniture boutique with art collectives. Then, there are buy-sell-trade concepts from shoes, gowns and dresses to Pokeman cards and books. We have a tenant that rents maternity, wedding and cocktail designer dresses. Traditional consignment shops, typically found on local main streets, are making their way into shopping centers as online marketplace concepts like Poshmark, Thread Up, eBay, Etsy and many others become trendier. What was old, or gently used is new and sustainable. Some big boxes are being converted to storage facilities, with others backfilled with recreational uses.”   

Peter Pinkard
Co-founder & Managing Partner
MCB Real Estate

“We’ve seen many new uses surface throughout the repurposing of retail centers. Some of the more intriguing examples that we’ve experienced are veterinarian hospitals, shared digital spaces that provide computer access and online gaming opportunities, urgent care and dental facilities, along with countless entertainment and experiential retail venues. We’ve also seen that traditional big box retailers are downsizing their shoppable footprint to maximize sales while balancing the customer experience. If those retailers continue to occupy the same sized space, most of them utilize the remaining space to expand their warehousing and shipping operations for e-commerce orders.”

Michael Gioioso
Vice President, Brokerage
MacKenzie Retail

“2021 will be looked back upon as the year of the ‘retail mash-up’ with synergistic business models combining under one roof to amp up traffic and add higher margin-making items. Consumers will be able to grab a glass of wine while shopping for a house plant or pass the time with a bubble tea at the counter inside the neighborhood pharmacy. It’s not just CapitalOne and Peet’s Coffee teaming on these things in Manhattan. Many forms of ‘retail mash-ups’ should be coming to properties near you.”