Our Mission

Learn who we are and how we serve our community


Meet our leaders, trustees and team


Developing the next generation of talent


Covering the latest news and trends in the marketplaces industry

Industry Insights

Check out wide-ranging resources that educate and inspire

Government Relations & Public Policy

Learn about the governmental initiatives we support


Connect with other professionals at a local, regional or national event

Virtual Series

Find webinars from industry experts on the latest topics and trends

Professional Development

Grow your skills online, in a class or at an event with expert guidance

Find Members

Access our Member Directory and connect with colleagues

ICSC Networking Platform

Get recommended matches for new business partners

Student Resources

Find tools to support your education and professional development

Become a Member

Learn about how to join ICSC and the benefits of membership

Renew Membership

Stay connected with ICSC and continue to receive membership benefits


9 Experiential Concepts, 6 F&B Tenant Updates, 5 Retailers in the News, Luxury Outlook and More

April 21, 2023

Mall landlords continue to find creative ways to make their properties experiential and unique. At Opry Mills in Nashville, Tennessee, The Escape Game will launch its first live game show concept, known as the Great Big Game Show, in June. The live-action experience includes trivia, chance and prop challenges. Fashion Show in Las Vegas is hosting a traveling exhibit called Selfie Studio: The Decades with eight pop-up containers filled with photo-worthy backdrops themed from recent decades. It’s part of the property’s rotating series of high-octane exhibits that keep shoppers coming back to see what’s new. And Mall of America is adding a psychedelic experience called Wink World and a 6,600-square-foot Museum of Illusions.

Pop-up experiences based on popular TV shows like Stranger Things and Friends also have been touring malls across the country. Meanwhile, pop-up operators like roller skate park firm Suso are drawing traffic at malls in Canada.

Macerich’s partnership with live entertainment specialist Kilburn Live has driven traffic with short-term, ticketed attractions. The most recent examples are The Dr. Seuss Experience at Tysons Corner Center outside Washington, D.C., and World of Barbie at California’s Santa Monica Place, pictured at top. Ticketed attractions deliver what customers are seeking most: fun, in-person experiences, said Macerich senior vice president of business development Petra Maruca. “Ticketed attractions fit well with our overall strategy of adding more uses and more reasons for people to spend time at Macerich properties.”

6 F&B Tenant Updates

Mall maven Wetzel’s Pretzels is stepping out of the mall and onto the streetfront. The retailer will launch a concept called Twisted by Wetzel’s in Southern California’s Orange County this spring. The company is scouting 1,200-square-foot sites with strong street visibility where it’ll cater both to dine-in and to off-premises customers.

Simon is tapping celebrity chef José Andrés to open an “unparalleled culinary experience” in Palo Alto, California’s Stanford Shopping Center and in Las Vegas’ Shops at Crystals and Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. The restaurants will open by 2024. José Andrés Group already operates 30 upscale restaurant concepts in Chicago; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; Orlando, Florida; and Washington, D.C., and additional locations in the Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates.

Drive-thru is the new frontier for pizza. Two years ago, Pizza Hut launched the Hut Lane, a dedicated lane for contactless, curbside pickup of online orders. Now, Slice Factory is developing pizza-slicing robots to staff late-night drive-thrus.

Eleven new eateries have signed on for Kimco Realty’s open-air Mill Station, an ongoing redevelopment of the enclosed Owings Mills Mall in Baltimore County, Maryland. The range indicates the kinds of food chains that are growing in 2023 from sit-down, destination restaurants to quick-serve dessert specialists: local Afro-Latin fusion restaurant Papi Cuisine, salad-and-stir-fry specialist Honeygrow, casual dining staple Applebee’s, cinnamon bun chain Cinnaholic, breakfast-focused First Watch, Asian fast-food operator Panda Express, comfort food chain Carolina Kitchen, locally owned R&R Taqueria, Boardwalk Fries Burgers Shakes, Jamba Juice and Starbucks. The project is scheduled for completion in 2025.

After six years of online operation, Feast & Fettle — which delivers cooked meals to customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island — is opening its first physical location. The brick-and-mortar store, near the company’s headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, will be called a Neighborhood Fridge. It will stock prepared dinners, salads, lunch items, breakfast items, local products and wine.

Chipotle has developed an all-electric restaurant design that uses 100% renewable energy from wind power and solar through the purchase of certified Renewable Energy Credits. Chipotle recently opened 100% electric restaurants in Gloucester, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida, and plans a third in Castle Rock, Colorado, this summer. Chipotle plans to deploy “at least some additional elements” from all-electric store design at 100 of the stores it’s opening in 2024.

Amazon, David’s Bridal, Fitstop, Ikea and Lowe’s Are in the News

Amazon aims to cut back on returned merchandise. The retailer has begun charging $1 for items returned to UPS stores that are near Kohl’s, with which it has a partnership, or Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh stores, which it owns. Amazon now displays a badge on the online listings for items with higher return rates, too.

David’s Bridal has filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time. The wedding dress retailer said it might close all 300 of its stores if no buyer emerges in the next few weeks.

Australia-based fitness chain Fitstop aims to disrupt the U.S. fitness landscape. The global chain will open its first U.S. store this May, a flagship in Santa Monica, California. Fitstop will open 10 more U.S. locations by the end of 2023. Some, including a unit in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, will be franchised.

Ikea is investing in the U.S. in a big way. It will open 17 new stores over the next three years, filling in markets mostly in the southern U.S. It’s Ikea’s largest U.S. investment in 40 years of operating in the country. It’s also the first of several phases of U.S. expansion the company plans over the coming decade. Of the new locations, announced Thursday, eight will be traditional stores and nine will be smaller-format Plan and Order points, where consumers consult with Ikea designers and place orders. Ikea will spend $2.2 billion to open the 17 stores, modernize existing stores and boost stores’ fulfillment capabilities for online orders.

Lowe’s plans to put rooftop solar panel systems on 174 of its 1,700 stores and distribution centers in the U.S. That includes 20 Lowe’s locations where solar panel systems already are operate. The solar panels will cover around 90% of energy used at each location.

Luxury Spending Is Propelling New Store Growth, but Has It Peaked?

Luxury retailers are spending beaucoup dollars to dress up their U.S. presences. Major brands like Dior, Gucci and Hermès are expanding their footprints in prime urban locations like Madison Avenue in New York City and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. They’re also exploring new stores in emerging hubs like Austin, Las Vegas and Nashville to cater to higher-income consumers.

Luxury brands largely have found success in expanding retail space and capitalizing on experiential offerings to establish unforgettable in-store experiences that drive sales and foot traffic. They’ve been chasing a robust consumer. Global luxury conglomerate LVMH’s U.S. sales grew 15% last year, and the U.S. market accounted for 27% of its overall revenue, despite rising prices caused by inflation.

But some of the gold may be coming off the lily. LVMH said U.S. sales at its top-shelf brands slowed in the first quarter. And U.S. luxury spending in March declined 18% to the lowest monthly rate in nearly three years as fewer people purchased high-end goods, according to credit card data from Citi.

Even so, the weakening market will allow strong, established brands like those owned by LVMH to grab market share, experts said. And the investments they’re making certainly will help them fend off competition from younger brands. LVMH, for one, soon will unveil a million-dollar makeover of its New York City Tiffany flagship store, pictured above in 2019. It has been closed for three years and once accounted for 10% of the brand’s global annual sales.

More Luxury Retail News

Young Adults Who Live at Home Help Drive Luxury Sales
Italian Luxury Linen Brand Opens Shop in New York City Townhouse
Las Vegas-Born Luxury Footwear Brand Opens First Store, in Los Angeles
Prada Will Open at Dallas’ NorthPark
Gucci Store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles Serves VIP Customers Only
Penthouse Over Palm Beach, Florida, Tiffany Store Sells for $18 Million

The Cost of Not Cutting Emissions

Marketplaces in some parts of the U.S. will need to cut their emissions levels by 37% if they want to avoid fines. That’s as more state and local government bodies follow leading-edge markets like Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. in tightening climate regulations, Green Street reported. Strip, or open-air, centers will need to cut emissions by 40%, according to the firm. Regulators will focus more on retail and office properties than on other commercial real estate sectors in coming years, according to Green Street. That’s because retail centers and offices generate more intense emissions than other property types and because it’s easier to regulate business tenants than residential ones, according to the report. Find out how property owners and retailers are cutting emissions at the ICSC ESG Center.

Rose Paving Grows

The paving industry is consolidating. The latest example is Rose Paving’s purchase of NVM Paving & Concrete. The deal adds facilities in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina to Chicago-based Rose’s locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Tennessee. NVM is the fifth acquisition Rose has made since 2015. In November 2022, Tenex Capital Management invested in the company.

Former ICSC Trustee Robert Flynn Has Died

Robert Flynn, ICSC trustee from 1987 to 1992, died at the age of 95. After getting his start in the construction industry in the 1950s, Flynn worked with the J. L. Hudson Co. and Randhurst as part of their shopping center development teams. Flynn became an early member of ICSC and contributed extensively as a panelist, instructor and chair of numerous committees. In 1966, he joined Macy’s to oversee the company’s portfolio of Northeastern malls, including South Shore Mall, Valley Fair, Bayfair and Garden State Plaza. In 1986, he started shopping center management firm Centercorp, and the next year he became an ICSC trustee and served two terms in office. Flynn retired in 1998.

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

Small Business Center

ICSC champions small and emerging businesses in getting from business plan to brick-and-mortar.

Learn more