Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simon Property CEO: Malls are alive and kicking

 @CNNMoneyInvest May 3, 2012: 8:14 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (CNNMoney) -- People have been hyping the death of the mall for the last two decades, but it's not happening anytime soon, said Simon Property Group CEO David Simon.
"Time Magazine 20 years ago had that exact headline," Simon, who has been at the helm of the world's largest mall operator since 1995, told CNNMoney at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. "If you look at our business and our profitability, it's never been better."
Investors appear to agree. Simon Property Group's (SPG) shares are up 22% in 2012, compared to an 11.7% increase in the S&P 500 (SPX).
Simon admits growth in the United States is limited, even going so far as to say some lower-end malls around the U.S. could close. Most of Simon Property Group's malls serve higher-end consumers.
He thinks most of Simon Property Group's growth will come from driving sales into its existing malls by refurbishing them and adding new stores.
Simon points to Roosevelt Field mall on Long Island in New York as one example. After years of battling local community boards for approval, Simon Property Group recently landed luxury retailer Neiman Marcus as a tenant. Simon hopes such retailers will ...
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