Specialty stores located in malls have a splendid opportunity to pull in shoppers — and buyers — every time a shopper heads from Macy’s, at one end of the mall, to J. C. Penny at the other end, says Phil Rist, vice president at BIGresearch. Rist spoke to reporters this afternoon during a conference call organized by the National Retail Federation.
Grabbing this back-and-forth traffic is how, Rist says, speciality stores “get leverage” off of the folks going to and from mall department stores. As a category, specialties will do fine this holiday season, as long as they compete with discounts and promotions.
On the whole this holiday season, Macy’s is tracking better than Wal-Mart, partially because many middle consumers are favoring department stores over discounters, where they hovered last year. Not only that, Rist says, “Department stores have been proactive in marketing and in going after younger groups. At this time of year, they behave a lot like discounters. There’s always a promotion, always a sale.”
So, two good bits of news for mall specialty retailers: One, more people are shopping at Macy’s, and so it follows that more shoppers are at the mall. Two, good promotions and window displays can stop mall shoppers in their tracks, bringing them into smaller stores where they might just wrap up their holiday shopping.