Jan Kniffen, J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide Enterprises CEO, and Simeon Siegel, Nomura Instinet analyst, discuss the health of the retail sector as some big names are looking to open stores this year rather than the trend of closing them.
Sickly malls are experimenting with a new anchor tenant: Gymnasiums. The expectation is that fitness-conscious members will cross-shop at other locations. Yet retail expert Jan Kniffen explained to CNBC why that's a hard sell. With retailers closing a record number of stores last year, malls have been experimenting with new types of businesses to drive traffic: Everything from restaurants and movie theaters to mini golf courses. Now, there's a new strategy that's heating up – the gym. Over the last five years, gym leases in malls across the country have nearly doubled, according to commercial real estate information firm CoStar. They now account for 1 percent of all mall space in the U.S Mea