The Big Story
Retail’s Retreat and Refresh
You almost never hear the words retail and change used in a positive sense these days, but last week brought a mixed bag of stories regarding brick and mortar retail that included two developments that offer some optimism for the industry.
First, three stories last week illustrated the increasingly common phenomenon of old retail space being repurposed:
- Hudson’s Bay announced it would not continue to operate its Lord & Taylor mid-town Manhattan store next year once the sale of the location to WeWork, a co-working space operator, is completed after holiday 2018. The original plan was to shrink the store, but now the company plans to close it and focus more resources on ecommerce.
- Cirque du Soleil announced it will be opening a 24,000 square foot “Creactive” family entertainment center in a Toronto area mall in 2019. Ostensibly, the space for the new center will come from a recently closed anchor retailer.
- The New York Times reported that part of a former Macy’s store in Alexandria, VA has been converted into a homeless shelter, at least temporarily.