As shopping increasingly moves online, retailers are thinking carefully about the experiences they offer. While I knew that, I hadn't really thought about how this trend impacts real estate developers.
Many shopping centers are starting to curate their portfolios like department stores do. By rotating retailers in and out, shoppers, consciously or not, have different experiences each time they visit. So, this begs the question: what business are these real estate developers really in? After today, I'd say it verges on entertainment / hospitality more than construction.
Outlet shopping centers should be like Disneyland for adults. Customers need to feel captivated when they get out of their cars. Some come to enjoy window shopping, other like trying things on and then buying them, and others just like having a destination. Regardless of motivation, customers are shopping in person for the experience.