Lifestyle centers have captured the attention—and the imagination—of not only shoppers and retailers, but of the news media as well. Chain Store Age has been reporting regularly on this trend away from traditional enclosed malls and toward cozier, upscale, open-air formats, but now the consumer press has followed the way of trades and begun to count the lifestyle venue as worthy of general news. And no wonder—because the lifestyle-center concept has legs.
CNN/Money called lifestyle centers “cute little villages.” USA Today described them as “cozier Main Street shopping districts.” And Business Week coined them “the shopping centers of the 21st century.” Heady stuff, to be sure, and not that far off the mark. Although we’re just now beginning to feel the stirs of regional mall re-awakenings, the lifestyle center still has firmly planted its roots in modern-day retail—and will continue to grow and flourish as consumers respond to the magnetism of riotous flowers and tree-lined lanes, pop-jet fountains and warming fire pits. And, of course, to the draw of high-end retail.
In this, our third lifestyle-center real estate supplement, Chain Store Age has focused its attention on this powerfully performing shopping format—and highlighted nearly a score of not only premier lifestyle developers, but also the centers they gave us, from a petite-but-powerful 76,000 sq. ft. all the way up to more than 1 million sq. ft. of lifestyle punch.