The survival of strip malls: Local retailers seeing uptick in business in Wolflin area

The survival of strip malls: Local retailers seeing uptick in business in Wolflin area
There's an uptick in new businesses coming to Amarillo with many picking open-air retail locations as their home, as customers look for efficiency and convenience. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - There’s an uptick in new businesses coming to Amarillo, with many picking open-air retail locations as their home.

"In the '70s and '80s, you really had a rise in big shopping malls and today, I think a lot of customers and retailers are gravitating toward retail centers or open air centers,” said Austin Sharp, Vice President of the Mays Group.

The survival of strip malls: Local retailers seeing uptick in business in Wolflin area

Sharp, who also does leasing for Wolflin Square near Georgia and I-40, says open-air retailers are becoming more popular once again as customers look for efficiency and convenience.

"If you're in your lunch hour and you need to knock off a few things from your shopping list or get a few errands knocked out, you can drive up, you can park, you can walk in, shop and get in and out,” said Sharp.

In nearby Wolflin Village, which just celebrated 60 years of business, the owner of local shop Marcella Furs and Leather says business has grown over the years as they stay in the retail center.

"Within three years in our first location here at Wolflin Village, we outgrew it and had to build this larger store and we've been here now for 12 years and we're busting at the seams again, so the business has grown quite a bit over the years,” said Marcie Rea, founder of Marcella Furs and Leather.

Rea says the support of the Amarillo community has kept the local shop going.

"We even saw a bit of a downturn for just a short time as things were kind of changing, especially when we saw the economy changing here in Amarillo, but as you can see, outside, it's booming again and new businesses are opening every day,” said Rea.

As for what has kept local shopping centers going for years, Sharp says it comes down to how you do business.

"If you're an owner or developer of a shopping center today, it's really critical that you're figuring out how to tell a great story, both with your shopping experience and online through your social media presence,” said Sharp.

With holiday shopping in full swing, the increase in local retailers may just make it easier to knock out that shopping list.

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