Some Milwaukee area shopping destinations struggle, while others thrive

Posted at 5:44 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 18:44:08-05

The official kickoff to the holiday shopping season is hours away and many retailers are banking on getting shoppers in the door.  

With Toys "R" Us, Boston Stores and Sears closing in Southeast Wisconsin well before Black Friday many shoppers said they still have plenty of options and they're choosing where to shop based on location, store selection and sometimes a sale. 

"I like places that have what I want," said Julianne Schieffer.

"It's halfway between our homes," said Joni Gannon.

While shopping destinations like Bayshore Town Center and The Shops at Grand Avenue Mall struggle to keep tenants or attract shoppers, other developments like The Corners in Brookfield is growing.

"You see shopping centers going to decline. With us we're actually going the other way," said Robert Gould, The Corners CEO/Developer. 

The Corners CEO Robert Gould said they're putting $7 million of improvements towards parking and other amenities and he said new tenants will be announced soon.  Gould credits the town center's success in being able to set itself apart.

"Something that's unique, something that you can't get somewhere else.  We didn't want this to be a cookie cutter mall," said Gould.

Gould said the family environment and local restaurant scene also sets the development apart.  

The Chair of Marquette University's Marketing Department Felicia Miller said shoppers are choosing places like The Corners over malls because of convenience. 

"They're drawing more customers from their surrounding community because they can park, walk right in the store, get back in their car, move the car yah know a few blocks.  They can go to the store they really want to get to without going through the big mall infrastructure," said Felicia Miller.

Miller said another trend to expect this holiday season is shoppers staying local.

"They are trending more towards sort of the neighborhood shopping feel," said Miller.

This week Southridge Mall announced eight new stores are set to open in time for holiday shopping.