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Malls look to grocery stores as a 'survival tactic'

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03/18/2017 | 05:00 am

For decades, department stores like Macy's and Sears have anchored sprawling suburban malls. Now as their business has languished and they board up shop, another sort of tenant is trying its luck in their place: grocers.

"There has been a real acceleration of anchors closing their operations," said Mark Ordan, who knows both sides of the equation as former chief executive of Fresh Fields and a former chief executive of a leading mall operator. "As traditional anchors leave, it's an opportunity for both the mall owner and the supermarkets."

Just last month, shares of mall real estate investment trusts swooned after J.C. Penney announced plans to close up to 140 stores this year.

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