Op-Ed: Pine Ridge Mall’s Growth Explained

Jul 12th, 2017 | By | Category: Business Features

By Drake Taylor, General Manager, Pine Ridge Mall

There are a lot of exciting new things happening at Pine Ridge Mall, from the small shop merchants, to the department stores to all of the dining and entertainment choices. We hope the public perception of the mall reflects the reality of what is going on here.

We monitor all communication channels including social media as part of our efforts to understand what our customers are looking for as well as how we can serve them better. Here are some common complaints that we hear and what we are doing to address them:

“Need new tenants” Victoria’s Secret, children’s stores, plus size stores for women, book stores, Old Navy and Target are frequently mentioned.  While we cannot comment on negotiations before a deal is done, you can be assured that if you know the name of the retailers, we have approached them with aggressive deals to get them back to this market.  Many times, the national tenants are not expanding or will not return to a market they have left.

“No options for plus sizes”  A large portion of Maurices’ store and sales is in plus size and a significant investment has been made expanding rue21 so they can include their plus size line.

“Need bigger name stores and more selection” When we are not able to sign a national tenant in a certain niche we will approach local or regional operators that can fill that use.  LaNeige Bridal, Wicked Cute Boutique and The Lingerie Store are examples of this.

“Rent is too high”  When management sees a comment similar to this, they wonder on what information the comment is based.  We have never lost a deal due to raising rent.  Our leasing team is very aggressive on rent and all terms.  I will be happy to personally discuss rents with anyone who wants to rent space but thinks our rents are too high. We are more than competitive in this market.

“Bring back all of the tenants that were once here” Oftentimes these comments mention a tenant that left 10 years ago or more.  The tenants that have left, many of whom are no longer in business, had been successful here, they would still be here.  For one reason or another they did not attract enough customers to allow them to be successful in this market. 

 

Since the current management group purchased the center in 2013 (and while experiencing the biggest upheaval in retail in recent memory) the Pine Ridge Mall has managed to accomplish the following using significant investment and aggressive leasing:

  • The Carmike Theater expanded, adding the first “Big D” super-size theater screen in the state of Idaho.
  • C-A-L Ranch relocated to the vacant former Macy’s space in 60,340 sf.  This produced the merchants most successful opening and the store continues to perform well.
  • Deseret Book relocated to their newly constructed store inside the center.
  • The old closed Carmike Theater was demolished and the site redeveloped to include Panera Bread and Red Robin
  • LaNeige Bridal purchased Tuxedos Now and signed a new long-term lease.  LaNeige has added women’s bridal and formal options to the Tuxedo operation and has been extremely successful and continues to grow.              
  • Health West assumed the Portneuf Medical Center location and has signed a long-term lease extension.
  • Maurices remodeled their store mid lease term as part of a national identity update.
  • Jump In opened a new children’s entertainment experience which has been very well received.
  • Pro Image Sports opened their new store in the center.
  • Aspen Dental, Supercuts and FedEx Office leased new space in a new outparcel building constructed between Red Lobster and Wells Fargo.
  • rue21 expanded their space so they could add their plus size line and have seen sales jump by over 40%.
  • Gillie’s Food Stop has opened in the food court offering traditional American fare.
  • Level Up, an entertainment venue offering Escape Rooms, gaming, laser mazes, and Puzzle Me options geared more toward our millennial customers, opened.
  • Payless Shoe Source, Buckle, GNC, Zumiez, Pocatello Hearing Center, T-Shirts Plus, Samuel’s Jewelers, Pretzelmaker, Bath & Body Works and Claire’s all renewed inside the center.
  • Fanzz is currently under construction, building their new store, which will open in the next 60 days.
  • The Lingerie Company, Chinese Massage, and pH Beauty will both open new locations in the next 30 days.
  • Shoe Dept. announced their new Encore store coming later this year.

We are not yet where we want to be at Pine Ridge Mall, but there has been significant investment and progress toward the goal of offering a first-class shopping experience to the Chubbuck/Pocatello market.  Our friends in the market can contribute by shopping locally for what is available locally.  We understand that if a product is not available locally, customers will go to Idaho Falls.  However, we frequently get comments about options not being available here that are, in fact, available in the Chubbuck/Pocatello market.

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