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GrowthSpotter: Rapid shifts in the retail industry will change how malls are reconstructed

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Farewell old malls and hello reinvention.

The age-old department store model that places one or more big-box retailers inside large regional malls with even larger parking lots and finicky infrastructure is going under, if not down already.

That’s according to a panel at this year’s National Association of Real Estate Editors 2020 Conference, which included experts in the industry and architects currently working on grand mall reconstruction projects throughout the nation.

Terrence Hart, a senior director at Franklin Street who’s active in Florida, said he’s optimistic about the future of retail.

“Retail doesn’t go away, it gets smaller from a square footage stand point, so these bigger box concepts are not as relevant as they used to be,” Hart said. Retail will evolve, and the tenants will change. “But at the end of the day the retail need is always there.”

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, has seen sales increase nearly 50% since the pandemic, he said. The privately held alcohol retailer is now expanding, and retrofitting some of its older locations across Florida.

They spent about $2 million renovating its former store in Orlando’s Hourglass District, he said.

Its ABC liquor store at 3097 Curry Ford Road, at the corner of South Crystal Lake Drive, was divided into smaller retail bays. Just recently, Black Rooster Taqueria and Floyd’s Barbershop announced they would be opening a location at the former liquor store.

“The innovation there is a matter of keeping up with the tenants that are successful and recreating their profits to keep up with times,” Hart said.

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