The reincarnation of the shopping center


A new, modern day interpretation of the ancient marketplace is rapidly growing across the United States and the majority are thriving. A marketplace is described as a group of retailers or venders that are con­gregated in one area to sell a diverse vari­ety of goods and services, mostly from the local community, although others include start-ups and pure play online brands.

Although this sounds like a shopping cen­ter, a marketplace differs as it is generally temporary, lasting anywhere from a day to six months and requires minimum invest­ment and risk. This offers an opportunity for small local retailers and start-ups with limited funds to establish a retail presence.

Other marketplaces are more permanent but rotate tenants on a six-month basis to create an environment of continuous change that maintains a strong flow of foot traffic. These marketplaces combine a variety of retail types including local retail­ers, start-ups, pure play online retailers, and even established legacy brands.

One of the newest marketplaces is in downtown Atlanta along Historic Hotel Row and housed in eight restored store­fronts. It features a variety of retailers and services ranging from restaurants to artisans to fashion designers, all with a local flavor unique to the Atlanta area.


Nearly two-thirds of consumers have visited a local farmer’s market.

Iceology Research Communities, January 2019


The rebirth of the marketplace was, in part, born out of the rise of the Farmers’ Markets more than thirty years ago, which have become hugely popular and a staple in almost all local neighborhoods across the country. Their success has not only led to the creation of marketplaces but food halls as well, which are also growing rap­idly in popularity across the country.

The increasing popularity of the market­place concept is due to the fact that they are experiential, stimulating, continually changing, and each market has its own unique character. Moreover, the appeal of the marketplace is cross-generational, ranging from Generation Z to post Baby Boomers.


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