Retail

Simon Wants To Help eCommerce Brands Get Into The Mall

While it seems like much of physical retail is trying to figure out how to better emulate eCommerce brands, eCommerce startups are actually trying to figure out a way to get a toe-hold into the physical retail world.

And Simon Malls — with over 300 shopping centers nationwide — wants to help them do just that.

The trouble with physical retail from the startup point of view is overhead: Long-term leases in untested physical spaces lack a certain appeal, particularly in an era when brick-and-mortar spaces are struggling. Simon Malls wants to bridge that gap by offering a “scaleable retail platform” called The Edit.

The Edit is basically akin to a pop-up space where eCommerce startups can test drive physical commerce in front of a live customer audience.

The goal of The Edit is to fix the old retail burdens that mall spaces often bear — inflexibility and expense — while delivering the mall’s benefits of customer foot traffic. The Edit is also pitched as a turnkey solution, meaning that everything from fixtures to security to displays to background music are on offer starting at a $500 per month price point.

Commitments range from one to six months, as opposed to the ten-year lease that goes with a standard mall space. If it works, Simon could have a valid reuse for it in hundreds of locations around the country — particularly as the company works to counter a rising wave of empty mall real estate in need of tenants. Empty stalls drive away consumers, but variety through rotating pop-ups could theoretically give customers a reason to return.

A trial location was launched last week at Roosevelt Field, New York’s second-largest mall about 45 minutes outside NYC.

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