Mall developers go vertical

There’s been a lot of comment about big mall developers (like Simon) deciding to take ownership in Aeropostale. My question (as posed on RetailWire) is whether they can really turn around the brand or simply hang onto a tenant:

The deal to salvage at least a third of Aeropostale’s stores is a sign of the times. The developers apparently don’t see a viable replacement strategy to fill this space in hundreds of regional malls. The problem facing Simon, GCP and others: This may be the beginning of a game of whack-a-mole, in which they try to rescue one failing specialty chain after another, simply to prevent too many vacancies at one time.

The bigger challenge for Aeropostale’s new owners: How to fix the business model, and provide some kind of spark to the brand’s merchandising? Aeropostale was always trailing behind American Eagle and Abercrombie (who have had their own issues), so they need a compelling strategy to make the company more competitive today.

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