Simon Property Group has partnered with Retail-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform Guesst on a multi-brand experiential retail concept.
The GuesstHouse will launch next week at Simon's The Westchester shopping mall, in White Plains, New York — just in time for the holiday shopping season. The 3,200-square-foot space will showcase heritage, indie and direct-to-consumer products and services across various luxury categories including home goods, clothing and other special “giftable” merchandise, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
A variety of professionals, including stylists and designers, will be on hand to assist customers at the new GuesstHouse. And Guesst's technology will be used for brand onboarding, sales transactions, payments, inventory tracking and data reporting.
As more consumers are choosing to shop online, mall owners like Simon are coming up with new ways to increase foot traffic. Simon recently announced it is teaming up with Rue Gilt Groupe to roll out a new website for the deal-conscious consumer. The company has also been working on the ShopPremiumOutlets.com website since March, drawing on the dozens of premium domestic outlet shopping centers.
And hopefully there is good news on the horizon: Last month David Simon, Simon's chief executive, said the retail industry appears to be “reaching the bottom” of a wave of bankruptcies.
“We are having a high bankruptcy year. … There’s no denying that. But I think we’re kind of reaching the bottom in … 2019 on that stuff. It’s rivaling what happened in 2017. So, it’s not like something that we haven’t experienced before. But we know [what] we have to do,” he said.
His comments come as U.S. retailers have announced 3,780 store openings and 8,993 store closures so far this year, in comparison with 3,258 openings and 5,844 store closures in all of last year, per Coresight Research tracking. According to a report, “The consulting firm expects closures could still hit a record 12,000 by the end of this year.”