Select Page

Ohio business principals – from startups and established commercial entities to lenders, lessors, building contractors and more – are duly focused on what is prominently playing out before them in malls and shopping centers.

In a word, that is change.

Major change, as in adjustment marked by both a departure and new influx of mall tenants and a fundamental new look and feel of shopping outlets.

That transformation is not just occurring in Ohio. Rather, it is a nationwide phenomenon that has garnered its own special designation in media stories. The “retail apocalypse” is turning upside down the traditional landscape of large shopping centers, with outcomes relevant to so-called “brick-and-mortar” bastions like Sears, Macy’s and J.C. Penney evidencing a new “here today, gone tomorrow” reality.

Commentators routinely stress that what is going on is materially fueled by the growing preference of consumers to just skip the mall and shop online. Many retail stores have heeded the trend and ditched their leased mall space. Others who haven’t have paid a literally heavy price, with Chapter 11 business bankruptcies steadily growing in number.

The demise of the long-held status quo in malls is admittedly concerning, but it also spells great opportunity for many business actors with fresh ideas and sound business plans. New types of entities that might have once seemed out of place in a mall are now becoming fixtures that notably attract consumers and contribute to a spreading of the wealth in shopping centers. Health clubs are an example, as are medical offices and even apartments.

Companies that do not have to compete in the ultra-competitive online sales world are particularly viable as new mall entrants.

Planet Fitness and its chain of health clubs is one example.

“Our business can’t be Amazoned,” says the company’s CEO.