Shopping Centers Today International

DEC 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Cinemas get smaller in size, bigger in scope The cinema sector is undergoing mas- sive reinvention as conventional chains downsize while upstarts offer sophisti- cated food-and-beverage components. AMC, for one, is reducing the size of its movie theaters to about a third of the current 300 seats. This is an indus- trywide trend with huge implications for landlords as they work to recon- figure that space, said Chuck Stilley, president and CEO of Leawood, Kan.–based Stilley Partners, which helps match up developers and cinema operators worldwide. Boca Raton, Fla.–based iPic is one of the new chains offering a high-end mix of food and drink, along with reclining leather seats and a cosmopolitan vibe. Food-and-beverage accounts for 50 per- cent of the revenue at these theaters. The entertaining experience is helping draw consumers away from Netflix and smart- phone screens. "Box office is declining consistently," said Patrick Quinn, vice president of real estate at iPic, at one of whose cinemas this SCTLive event was held. "But we help grow the box office because most people don't want to go to theaters." Quinn said iPic has a database of some 1.6 million members. "They are extremely loyal. We can watch them drive past plenty of other theaters to get to ours because it is unique." Key issues facing cinema operators, Quinn said, include a dearth of block- busters from Hollywood and a lack of business between Monday and Thursday. IPic boosts weekday traffic with rock doc- umentaries, remastered concerts and the streaming of events at which audiences seated in different theaters can interact remotely, Quinn said. Live performances and sports events are options too. 16 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 T H E C O M M O N A R E A Overeating Too much food can cause landlord indigestion, quipped Michael Dubin, principal of Dubin & Asso- ciates, a Los Angeles–based restaurant-tenant advisory firm. He cited one new Cali- fornia center that squeezes nearly 20 eateries into less than 400,000 square feet. "You can only divide the pie so many ways," Dubin said. "You're better off wishing you had more seats than wishing you had fewer." Brand-new dollar In order to get regulatory approval to buy the Family Dollar chain earlier this year, sector leader Dollar Tree had to agree to sell 330 Family Dollar stores around the U.S. to private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Sycamore now plans to oper- ate those stores as a sepa- rate retailer called Dollar Express. The chain will be based in Charlotte, N.C. Lost love General Growth Properties is working with teen-apparel retailer Love Culture and other troubled retailers to recapture 15 of the chain's 20 stores at the firm's malls. Love Culture, founded by Forever 21 executives, filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2014. The retailer gener- ally occupies very well-located space in the mall and has rela- tively large store footprints. Postmodern Canadian post offices are getting retail savvy. Canada Post is testing a series of retail innovations at a sub- urban Toronto location in hopes of rolling them out to all stores. The facility boasts a drive-through window, self-service kiosks that are open 24/7, and even a fit- ting room where customers can try on clothes they've ordered online.

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