By Steiner + Associates
In the midst of what has been referred to in recent years as the “Retail Apocalypse,” big-name giants such as Macy’s, Sears, Toys R Us and others have shuttered the doors of thousands of stores, leaving noticeable vacancies within shopping malls across the country. Yet in the midst of such change, select retailers stand out among the rest as maintaining their competitive edge in a rapidly changing climate.
Last year, Easton Town Center was honored with the “No. 1 Retail Experience for 2019” from Chain Store Age recognizing the center for it’s know-how in providing superior shopping, dining, and recreational experiences to customers and the destination continues to develop and expand. Now, due in part to demand from local and national firms that want to be part of the environment, Easton is undergoing a $500 million, 16 acre expansion that continues the evolutionary path of the center e as it adopts a more community and town feel.
The past year also saw the launch of Easton’s innovative Shop/LAB concept, an incubator space for retailers to test the physical shopping experience. The space has featured several retailers including Campo Marzio, Artkive, and Rock’Em Socks, the latter of which saw the launch of its first retail location in Florida following its Shop/LAB debut. It’s innovative concepts such as these that have continued to set Easton apart from other mall experiences and create a dynamic environment that attracts both repeat and new visitors alike.
On the heels of Easton’s 20th Anniversary, the Town Center has initiated an exciting expansion with the new construction quickly taking form just north of Macy’s and east of Nordstrom with 125,000 planned square feet of office space, 140,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment as well as residential units.
The new expansion will provide a unique architectural and experiential dimension to the Town Center with vibrant streetscapes and interactive art installations. New development will feature The Yard, which will host live music and entertainment, community events and other gatherings while the Urban Hearth ties together adjacent breweries, restaurants, and entertainment venues in a cozy setting meant to foster gathering. Additionally, the Urban Hearth will offer a social space near the breweries, restaurants and entertainment spaces to allow visitors to relax.
New tenants will include Chicago-based brewery Forbidden Root, the Oprah-backed True Food kitchen, Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce Cafe and Speakeasy, The Beeline, and an iconic Restoration Hardware RH Gallery, which will anchor the new development and become the first in the state.
The new development at Easton serves as an example of how malls and shopping centers can innovate and adapt to the modern retail landscape. In introducing new brands and responding to changing consumer tastes for a diverse mix of experiences outside of the expected, the shopping center has continued to grow along with its customer base throughout the years.
This combined with Easton’s unique dedication to providing the highest quality customer experience–with attention to detail down to the iconic blue Easton umbrellas that dot the property just in case of unexpected showers—are the qualities that will define Easton as a premier destination throughout the ages.