TAMPA — Chuck Taylor not only runs many of the huge shopping centers in Florida, he also exemplifies how many people have started shopping lately.
Instead of going to just one grocery or department store, he’s become what’s known as a “polar” shopper. He’ll go to The Fresh Market for nice dinner food, but Costco for cleaning supplies and paper products. Sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve found you’ll buy a nice pair of shoes at an upper-end department store, but then buy workout gear at someplace like Marshall’s.
“It’s either luxury, or value,” said Taylor, senior vice president for Madison Marquette, which operates shopping properties around the state. For any brand in between the luxury-or-value poles, it’s a tough market out there – and that’s why you’re seeing both a slew of new stores open at the high and low ends of consumer spending, while stores in the middle are closing.
This all became starkly clear when one slide appeared on the giant screen presentation during a trade show in Tampa last week for retailers, developers, restaurants and bankers. And that brings us to the rundown of retail, restaurant and shopping news around town: