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Mall Owners Are Courting Grocers To Replace Department Stores

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Grocery store, bananas

Mall owners are working to attract supermarkets to fill empty space as retailers around the country shutter stores in the face of e-commerce.

Experts said grocers have become coveted tenants as mall landlords work to transform their properties into one-stop destinations that draw consumers back several times a week, the Wall Street Journal reports. Wegmans Food Markets Inc. recently leased 194K SF at Natick Mall in Massachusetts, replacing J.C. Penney, and Whole Foods and Kroger agreed to move into malls in Indiana and Ohio, respectively.

In addition to grocery stores, International Council of Shopping Centers CEO Tom McGee said malls are bringing in restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to attract more Millennials by combining convenience with experiences.

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