Do Mall Owners Need to Innovate More?

Jim Walsh of The Courier-Post has some insights into PREIT’s year-end reporting, Loss rises for operator of South Jersey malls. It definitely has been a tough year for retail property investors and owners, especially those who own and operate malls.

PHILADELPHIA – The owner of the Cherry Hill and Moorestown Malls has reported an annual loss of $61.3 million, but asserts it has faith in a turnaround effort.

The financial results, including a sharply lower deficit for 2017’s fourth quarter, “confirm that our strategy … is yielding successful results,” said Joseph Coradino, CEO at Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust.

“We’re in a strong position to drive revenue into the future,” Coradino said in a conference call with investment analysts Thursday afternoon.

He noted the Philadelphia firm has responded to a “contracting retail environment” by selling off 17 low-performing properties and diversifying away from traditional mall anchors.

We’ve seen more reports of malls like the Burlington Center Mall potentially closing, and continually hear stories of more retail tenants going bankrupt. While it looks like the strongest malls like King of Prussia just outside Philadelphia will continue to do well, there are definitely areas where mall owners will need to start becoming more innovative.

From adding fitness centers to looking at the potential for co-working spaces, mall owners need to consider some outside the box innovations, if they want to succeed.