We are big believers in the importance of “experience-based” retail in age of on-line shopping. Downtowns can’t just sell goods and services anymore. In order to attract shoppers, they have to provide a compelling experience that will draw consumers into the retail area. As if to prove the point, Syracuse’s Destiny USA is completing its retooling, and expects to be one of the biggest retail centers in the US. How are they doing it? Syracuse.com has the story:
While Destiny is far short of the destination Pyramid’s dreamers once proposed — the largest retail and entertainment complex in the nation — they did create something that is, in size, the sixth-largest mall in America. Pyramid says it will be the second most-visited mall in the nation.
When complete, possibly by early 2013, it will have approximately 264 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, which will employ 5,000 people.
Despite the project’s significant backpedaling from its grandiose vision, retail industry insiders and tenants say the Destiny USA we’re getting is a model for success in the post-economic downturn shopping environment
“For malls today, they’ve been looking at how they can reinvent themselves,” said Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the trade group National Retail Federation. “They have to make themselves unique and special. And that’s what I think Destiny USA does.
The full story is here.