Shopping centers aren’t what they used to be – they are so much more. To keep up with today’s world, retail spaces in the Northeast and across the country are all about enhancing the customer experience.
Beyond shopping, malls are now hubs of entertainment that combine the best aspects of both physical and online retail. Along with a wide selection of top brands, you’ll also find quality dining, theaters and opportunities for family fun.
Learn how shopping centers are adapting, what they have to offer and the health precautions they are taking in response to the pandemic to make customers feel as safe and as comfortable as possible.
Shopping Center Perks
Modern malls recognize that there are positives to both in-store and online shopping and embrace both. Though online shopping is convenient, some consumers appreciate in-person shopping for its tactile nature and the ability to try things on for size. If you are still more comfortable staying home, curbside pickup makes life a bit easier.
While some brick-and-mortar stores have been moving to a fully digital space, we are also starting to see the opposite. In a trend nicknamed “click-to-brick,” stores such as Bonobos, Casper and Warby Parker, that were once completely digital, have established physical storefronts to improve customer experience.
The centralized location of many Northeastern shopping centers also allows visitors to take advantage of nearby attractions, hotels and events. Taking a stroll around the mall and indulging in retail therapy could be a fun way to break up a summer road trip.
And whether you are craving snacks like soft pretzels and ice cream or more substantial options from the food court or restaurants, there are more than enough options to satisfy your hunger.
Premier Shopping Centers
The best retail experiences in the Northeast are often located at the heart of major cities. Here are a few standout shopping centers in the region to explore.
90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst, N.Y.
This shopping center is located at the intersections of Queens Boulevard, the Long Island Expressway and Woodhaven Boulevard. Although it’s been around for 40 years, it has been consistently upgraded, including anchor stores like JCPenney and Macy’s to must-haves like Adidas, Apple, H&M, The Disney Store, Michael Kors, Sephora and Timberland. There are also plenty of places to get a delicious bite to eat, like Chick-Fil-A, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack and a newly expanded food court.
1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons Corner, Va.
Minutes from downtown Washington D.C., Tysons Corner Center is one of the top 10 shopping centers in the country.
There’s fine and casual dining destinations as well as department and specialty stores, including Apple, Coach, Gucci, L.L. Bean, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Tesla, The North Face and Zara. A 16-screen IMAX 3D and Dolby Digital AMC Theatres rounds out the experience. And if you need to shop and stay, the upscale Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner is attached to the shopping center.
901 Market St., Philadelphia
Conveniently located in Center City, this shopping center spans three city blocks while being connected to Reading Terminal Market, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Jefferson Station on Market Street.
There’s shopping for every budget, including a mix of flagship and traditional stores and branded outlets. Asics, Columbia, Francesca’s, G by Guess, H&M, Kate Spade, Levi’s, Nike, Skechers, Ulta Beauty and Zales are just some of the stores you’ll find at Fashion District Philadelphia.
When it’s time to eat, you’ll have your pick between fast, casual and sit-down dining. For entertainment, enjoy rotating art exhibits at Wonderspaces; bowling, billiards and karaoke at Round One; mainstream movies at AMC Theatres and plenty more.
1900 Military Road, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Ranking as one of the top 20 largest outlet centers in the U.S., the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls feature over 200 designer brands – like Calvin Klein, Champion, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger – as well as more than 70 stores completely unique to the market.
Conveniently located just minutes from Niagara Falls State Park, this recently expanded and remodeled shopping center is also close to the Canadian border, as well as local hotels and casinos.
COVID-19 is still front and center in consumers’ minds. As such, the shopping centers are prioritizing the health and wellness of their guests, enacting various safety protocols. These include employee wellness checks, ensuring mask compliance, hand sanitizing stations, hospital-grade air filtration, intensified cleaning/sanitizing procedures and social distancing markers and signage.
When you are comfortable shopping in-store again, rest-assured that your health and safety are a priority. Learn more.
There’s still more to come in the evolution of shopping centers. From the integration of pop-up shops, where malls give online retailers a chance to connect with consumers and offer the sense of an exclusive experience, to architectural changes that mix indoor and outdoor spaces, retail spaces will continue to adapt to shoppers’ needs.
Take advantage of complimentary shopping and dining savings with the Visitor Savings Pass at participating shopping centers.