Sales at Bal Harbour Shops tops in world

When it comes to sales volumes, the Bal Harbour Shops ranks as tops in the world, according to a recent industry report.

With its roster of luxury retail tenants, Bal Harbour reported annual sales of $2,555 per square foot and expects that number to grow to $3,000 by year end. Those numbers earned the mall that has long been synonymous with luxury shopping in South Florida, the top spot in a September report by Shopping Centers Today magazine. Sales per square foot are considered the industry standard for measuring retail sales productivity rather than total sales volumes because it accounts for differences in property sizes.

The challenge will be whether Bal Harbour can keep up that level of performance as the luxury retail market in South Florida is in the midst of a shift. A number of Bal Harbour’s luxury tenants are either relocating or opening second stores in the burgeoning Miami Design District.

But Bal Harbour does have breathing room. The mall owned by the Whitman family ranked far ahead of second-place finisher the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, which rang up sales per square foot of $1,750.

The sales at these kind of properties can only be fully appreciated when you consider that the average retail shopping center rings up $452 in sales per square foot, according to estimates by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Bal Harbour wasn’t the only South Florida property showing up in the top rankings. Aventura Mall was in a three way tie for No. 15 on the list with annual sales of $1,100 per square foot. Aventura Mall is owned by Turnberry Associates.

Considering the proximity of Bal Harbour Shops and Aventura Mall, it tells you something about the penchant South Florida residents and tourists have for shopping.