Older Shopping Center Work to Stay Young - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Older Shopping Center Work to Stay Young



    Managers at Irving Mall on Airport Freeway were pleased to see heavy traffic on Black Friday 2010.

    “Yes we’re very happy with the traffic and the sales today for Black Friday. It’s been very strong since we opened at 5am,” said Assistant Manager Holly Connor.¬
    Irving Mall has been open for 39 years and in that time many newer shopping centers have opened to chip away at the Irving Mall market.

    A former Circuit City store location in the mall is still vacant in a high visibility location along Airport Freeway.

    “We have to remain competitive with the other shopping centers in the area. We’ve been garnering new tenants to come into the shopping center. We are also bringing in lots of holiday entertainment and activities,” Connor said.

    The challenge for Irving Mall is similar to that of many other shopping centers in older suburbs.

    “When you have migration out of the close in suburbs to the further out suburbs, those ring suburbs tend to go into decline,” said Southern Methodist University Business Professor Mike Davis.

    He said traditional malls are also facing other challenges.

    “They’re being threatened by online retailing and by the big box stores.  So they have to do something to distinguish themselves and what they can do is the entertainment, the ambiance. If they become a destination, more than just a place to go shop, then the malls can succeed,” Davis said.

    Irving Mall underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2008.

    Shoppers in the Mall Friday said they appreciate the location and atmosphere.

    “They have good things for the children and we live about two miles away so it’s very convenient. And they have a movie theater,” shopper Gwen Hodrick said.