Frontenac started a small revolution in shopping center design by creating a hospitality approach to modern retailing environments focused on bringing together a diverse customer base in a crowded market founded on our leasing strategy that complimented the existing market offering and was designed to extend visitation and increase duration. Plaza Frontenac is a 460,000 GSF two level upscale shopping mall who’s customer base was… literally… dying. There were no customers under the age of 60 in 1995. New management wanted to dramatically increase the number of customers and create a food court to compete with the nearby Saint Louis Galleria… a 1.2M GSF regional mall. Our strategy started with the imperative to bring in a whole new customer base without alienating the older traditional customer by differentiating the offer to complement other centers in the trade area… and not directly compete. And, we convinced ownership that foot counts weren’t the answer to a Neiman Marcus anchored mall… larger average transactions were.
Our focus was on food and home. We gave management a complete leasing strategy and delivered the anchor tenant… Cardwell’s restaurant. We created a series of white tablecloth restaurants… not a food court… and turned them inward and outward to give a more dramatic arrival experience. Our strategy for the repositioning and renovation of Plaza Frontenac resulted in a new retail mix that retained the mature, affluent shopper… but also attracted a younger, more diverse customer. We added a fine arts movie theater, a spa, and a range of fine dining. The solution was a focused lifestyle merchandising strategy combined with a new sense of hospitality that expanded the mall’s customer base… extended the shopping duration… expanded visitation… and increased in-line sales the first year by over $150 per square foot. Many of the furnishings used are now in the MOMA permanent collection of modern furniture.