BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Across the country- one of the things the Twin Cities is known for is the Mall of America. if it were a person, it would be a millennial. The mall turns 25 Friday.
It appears to be bucking a trend in retail with shopping malls on the decline. A recent study by a Wall Street firm estimated that 25 percent of the nation's shopping malls could close within the next five years.
Retail consultant Jim McComb of the Minneapolis based McComb Group says MOA has a number of things working in it's favor.
For one, it's a destination. McComb says more than half of MOA's sales come from outside the Twin Cities Metro.
On Wednesday night that was on full display as customers from Canada and Chicago browsed the shops.
One family from Saskatoon, Canada specifically chose Minneapolis for vacation because of the Mall of America.
Dave and Sue Leech took their grandkids for the rides and the aquarium. He says that's why the mall is still so vibrant.
"The wide variety, all the entertainment that's here. There's so many options," Leech said.
He drives a motor coach and drops off people from all over the world at MOA.
"from let's see, china, Denmark, Norway. They come to see the mall of America," Leech said.
Vivian Fisher of Minneapolis remembers when the mall first opened.
"I'd never seen anything like it," she said.
Her friend Chris Lutz from Chicago joked, "It's aged well. Like us!"
She added the mall doesn't seem dated despite it's quarter century age. "It's fresh and current," she said.
Which raises another point McComb says contributes to Mall of America's success. It can draw stores no one else in Minnesota can because of its size and scope.
"Apparel and retailing is like selling produce. You've got to keep the produce fresh or it won't sell and they have a better ability to do that because of the size of the property and its reputation," he said.
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