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King of Prussia Mall Looks to Add 20 New Stores

In 2024, King of Prussia Mall will be adding 20 more stores and restaurants to its overwhelming number of 450 retailers and shops. Its owner, Simone Property Group, has shared that it will be adding Dior, Oak and Fort, Mango, Lazy Dog Restaurant, Little Words Project and a Korean barbeque restaurant to its retail community. The 15 other storefronts have yet to be advertised but will cater to the mall’s luxury shoppers.  

“The strength of the King of Prussia Mall speaks to the vitality and resilience of the consumer in the greater Philadelphia region, who have maintained a healthy preference for both online and in-store shopping experiences,” economics professor Craig French said. 

 Further construction has been deemed necessary by general manager Bob Hart. 

“Tenant demand has never been stronger,” Hart said. 

This demand comes as the U.S. economy is approaching a recession. As reported by Bloomberg Economics, there are great risks ahead of a recession, as the U.S. is seeing worker strikes, higher interest rates and a rise in oil prices. Given the dire economy, adding 20 stores to the King of Prussia seems needless. It would be costly and add unwanted competition to other stores, as well. For example, Mango, a Spanish clothing store, rivals Zara and Aritzia, as it shares the same demographic of shoppers and price of goods. 

This demand for greater storefronts contradicts a greater trend in the United States. In 2020, it was estimated that one-fourth of the malls in the country would shut down by 2025. This shutdown responds to the rise of e-commerce after the pandemic. 

“With the exception of 2022, the consumer discretionary sector has been one of the strongest industry sectors since the financial crisis of 2008,” French said. “Yet within that sector, consumers have been steadily shifting from brick & mortar store shopping, including malls, to online consumption.” 

Today, consumers have greater choices and can either shop in-person or shop online. By shopping online, consumers can skip the long lines, the commute to the mall and the crowds. Yet in-person shopping offers the gratification of obtaining a product the day of purchase. In the age of TikTok Shop and day-of delivery, the advantages and disadvantages of shopping in store and online are blurred.  

It is easy to dismiss the economic need for added shops, but malls have purposes other than shopping. In the suburbs of America, they are havens for young children and adults to gather without spending a dime. The history of indoor and outdoor malls in the United States tells a similar story. Built in Kansas City, Missouri in 1922, the first mall was culturally seen as the heart of its community.   

The King of Prussia Mall, for Villanova students, is what the Coliseum is for Rome. There is nowhere else outside of campus that one will see a greater population of Villanova students in one place. It is where we shop, where we eat, where we laugh and where we play. As an undergraduate body of students, it is the capital for retail therapy, when midterm and finals season hits and for grabbing a celebratory dinner. There is a reason that Villanova offers shuttles to King of Prussia for its undergraduate students every weekend. One Villanova student, Maggie Winston, agreed. 

“Though King of Prussia can be overwhelming, it is exciting to shop around,” Winston said. “Whenever [I] need clothes or shoes, King of Prussia is the first place I go. It’s convenient and fun to walk through.”  

Of course, retail shopping and fast-fashion lead to greater waste and unnecessary consumption of goods and services, yet it is our own responsibility to be conscious consumers. We do not need to boycott all malls, but we can practice healthy habits that are good for our wallets, environment and our community. One of which debuts on-campus every semester, the Wildcat Thrift Shop, where students can buy and sell second-hand clothes on-campus. Students can also go as far as challenging themselves to No Spend November or thrifting for clothes, as well.  

The added 20 storefronts is exciting news for Villanova students and shoppers who are looking to diversify their closets or for a part-time retail job. And it is surely a win for Villanova students. 

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