According to Bloomberg, America is in the midst of a “retail apocalypse.” Once teeming with customers, retailers have been forced to close their doors due to online shopping and the shift of spending trends. In fact, the LATimes reports that 20-25 percent of malls will close completely within the next five years.
Perched on the northern point of Miami’s barrier island sits a shopping oasis where such an apocalypse is nothing but a distant murmur. This is Bal Harbour Shops—the mall of the elites. Resembling a resort more than a shopping center, it is home to the most luxurious brands in the world. Consumers begin their experience by dropping 30 dollars on valet for their Porsches and Range Rovers.
Brands like Bvlgari, Chanel, and Gucci compete to keep their spot in the mall—underperforming stores are overtaken by the waitlist of retailers eager to get in. While other malls burn out and die, Bal Harbour Shops is planning to expand, and they’re prepared to shell out $400 million in the process.
As a part of this expansion, Matthew Whitman Lazenby, Bal Harbour Shops’ developer, recently demolished a 70-year-old church behind the mall parking garage. The deal, which had been in negotiation since Lazenby’s grandfather was in charge decades before, caused a huge pushback from the community. Lazenby’s answer to his critics? “Activist naysayers,” he tells Bloomberg.
For the full story, go to Bloomberg.
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