A timely discussion last Monday about expansion plans at the Mall of America, outside Minneapolis. (Timely because I was headed to the mall on the same day.) The plan is to expand dramatically by adding a “luxury” wing, and the question before RetailWire panelists is whether the MOA is following a theme-park strategy by drawing shoppers. Here’s my take:
The MOA (which I happen to be visiting today) has long had an “attraction” strategy, going back to its theme park in the middle, amusements like an aquarium, and a vast array of shops and restaurants pulling tourists and shoppers from all over the world.
The latest plan is interesting because the Mall began as too upscale for the market and changed its tenant mix at least 15 years ago before hitting its stride. The new plan is a logical evolution, especially since the MOA in its current incarnation runs the risk of becoming stale.