Mall Giant Wants to Bring Digital Native Brands to its Centers

Image being able to shop at Pact, Goodlife, UpWest, and Naadam in a brick-and-mortar so you can be hands on before you buy.

Two years ago, shopping malls were expecting 25% of them to close within three to five years, according to Coresight Research. The study was performed before the covid pandemic, and those figures are probably higher because of the pandemic. More people started shopping online in 2020 forcing brick and mortar stores to make some drastic changes to survive.

Online shopping, delivery, and curbside pick-up were the saving grace for many businesses. Allowing customers to shop online and minimize covid exposure was key. However, offering curbside pick-up would help with stores with doors to the outside, it would not be as easy for retailers within a shopping mall. Shopping in a strip mall would be easier to offer curbside pick-up.

Retailers, who endured the pandemic and survived, are now faced with a possible recession. Inflation, coupled with a staffing crisis, have put retailers at the forefront of both.

Getty Images

Malls are Trying Out the ‘Bend and Snap’

Shopping malls are working to retain their occupancy and relevance. Simon Property Group  (SPG) – Get Free Report is finding a new way to innovate the shopping experience at its mall real estate across the globe including North America, Europe and Asia. Simon has a vested interest in over 250 retail locations globally.

Simon Properties is taking on a new project that will have shoppers thinking they just experienced the retail ‘Bend and Snap,’ the iconic switch from one angel to another, famous from Reese Witherspoon’s in “Legally Blonde.” The move is said to have a 98% success rating of getting one’s attention. 

Simon is partnering with retail platform Leap, a platform for modern brands to expand into retail markets in premium locations. Leap does everything from day-to-day operations and management to design and development.

“We are excited to work with Leap to help introduce growing brands to the value of brick-and-mortar retail. This is a pivotal time where stores are top of mind with nearly every brand growing in the U.S., and with the speed and nimbleness of the LEAP model, the expansion process has been streamlined immensely. It is our hope that by working together we will continue to both incubate brands through the LEAP platform as well as help them expand throughout our portfolio where they can reach hundreds of millions of their target consumers annually,” said Zachary Beloff, vice president of leasing at Simon Property. 

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our footprint with Simon,” Amish Tolia, co-founder and co-CEO at Leap said in a statement. “The team invested in our Series B raise, and now, we’re pooling our competitive advantages and data-driven approach to deploy the next generation of brands in prime shopping centers across the country. This collaboration, in addition to opening physical stores, is also enabling brands to rapidly build and scale an omni-channel retail presence.”

Peak Season is in Full Swing

Peak shopping season is upon us, running from mid-October through the new year, and Simon is launching its working relationship with Leap just in time for the holiday shopping season. 

One brand that is expanding into Simon Properties with the help of Leap is Goodlife.

“Our retail expansion wouldn’t be possible without the Leap platform, so the fact that Leap is working with Simon makes us even more excited for the future of our brand,” Andrew Codispoti, co-CEO at Goodlife said in a statement. 

Leap is currently operating in 14 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington. Leap is supporting digital brands that include Oliver Cabell, Pact, Naadam, A Pea in the Pod, Frankies Bikinis, Printfresh, Goodlife, True Classic, ThirdLove and more. 

With the move into Simon malls, these digital brands are making the big switch from purely online retail to a storefront. These brands alone might not be able to save shopping malls, but together they add a new aspect to the shopping experience, bringing new customers into the shopping centers to try before you buy. 

Related Posts

Union Capital Financial Group Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands, does not provide investment services inside the United States. The company only provides consulting, advisory and educational services.