Surviving the internet; how local malls are faring

Local malls show growth amid online shopping trend

ROANOKE – As bricks-and-mortar stores continue to battle online shopping trends, Valley View Mall is showing growth.

Despite the ever growing popularity of shopping from home, Valley View Mall, which draws in customers from a two-hour driving radius is proving that brick and mortar stores can still be successful. Mall manager Louise Dudley said the two-floor regional mall continues to cater to shoppers across the region, offering something the internet does not.

“I think Valley View is a good example of how we have survived the internet,” Dudley said.

Despite competition from online retailers, Dudley said 15 million shoppers come to Valley View Mall each year. Those visits translate to dollars.
“It's been a good year for valley view,” Dudley said.

In fact, Valley View just added two more tenants, including children's clothing retailer Carter's Oshkosh B'Gosh, and soon to-open Dazzle Up. Both tenants use 10,000-square feet of retailer space bringing the mall to 100 percent occupancy.

Dudley says they are up 2 to 3 percent in revenue year to date.

“Which is way above the norm in our industry,” Dudley said. 

Valley View has maintained Dudley said thanks to leasing agent CBL properties which also runs the New River Valley mall.

Currently sitting at 56 tenants, NRV mall management just announced the addition of ULTA beauty, Kirkland's and a national home store as part of the JCPenney redevelopment.

Much of mall successes are often attributed to their anchor retailers. Large department stores like Macy’s and Sears have seen closures nationwide in recent years.

In Lynchburg, River Ridge Mall experienced the closure of Macy’s in 2017 and Sears in 2013.

Despite those closures, Katie Farris, Property Marketing Manager over River Ridge Mall said their occupancy rate remains high as well, sitting at 94 percent occupied.

Dudley attributes part of Valley View's success to long-term department stores and their integration of online in-store perks like free in-store shipping.

“The retailers have gotten internet savvy,” Dudley said.

A new tool to help keep consumer spending local.

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