Metrics of Success
There is a multitude of metrics in the article that show the success of the Bellevue Mall. The first is that the price per square foot of store space in the mall is three times higher than average. The perceived decline of physical retail could lead a person to think that $100 per square foot is an unreasonable price for store space, but other metrics explain why this is not the case. For example, during the holiday season, the store attracts more than 500,000 customers with its parades and decorations. Another metric is that the demand for certain stores such as Tesla can be high enough to gather a line the length of ten blocks which resulted in $16 million sales in just 12 hours of operation (Moore).
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Elements of Strategy
Freeman utilizes a variety of effective strategies but the two most effective ones that were described in the article are “emotional fulfillment” of the customers, and being familiar with both retailers and customers. The emotional fulfillment that he aims for comes from being able to touch and feel the product before purchasing it. He suggests that this is an element that Internet stores would never be able to provide and that it is highly effective. The second element works due to the ability to receive immediate feedback about the store from either a customer or a store manager. Any issue that is present receives much more attention if people express their opinions about it (Moore).
Why do Online Retailers have Stores in Bellevue Mall
The online retailer stores in Bellevue Mall are present for multiple reasons. Amazon is a company that has a lot of strategies that spread into almost every aspect of the economy, which makes it natural to have a store in one of the most successful malls in the country. Tesla and Apple are primarily online retailers, but their products are best demonstrated when people can test them before making a purchase. Due to the high prices of their products, people would likely be more cautious to purchase an expensive phone or a car if they find themselves enjoying the products before making a purchase. The success of other Internet commerce companies in the retail field subsequently inspires other companies to follow suit (Moore).
Implications of Overabundance of Retail per Person
Freeman states that the United States is overbuilt with retail stores. As an example, he shows that Germany has 75% less retail per person and it performs rather well in comparison to the United States and even Canada. For this, he blames an earlier real-estate boom which led to thousands of malls being built and later abandoned. Freeman describes that no matter which state he is in, there are always many too many malls to stay in business. He implies that less successful retail stores would be closed in near future and that through “emotional fulfillment” the remaining malls would be flourishing (Moore).
Bellevue Mall is an outlier in the retail space. It is one of the last malls owned by a person and not a conglomerate corporation. It is extremely successful, and its owner takes pride in being hands-on with his business. This type of management may be impossible for a large corporation but is much more achievable when only one mall is in question. It is unclear if this situation will continue indefinitely, or being to fall apart with time, but currently, it is a highly impressive business.
Moore, Stephen. “How Retailers Can Thrive in the Age of Amazon.” Wall Street Journal. 2017. Web.