Here’s Why Gordon Tang Is Paying Attention To Shopping Malls Swapping Store Fronts

gordon tang

American malls have faced with existential challenges in recent years.  Mall operators focus their attention ever more acutely on foot traffic that translates to revenue. There was a time when these retail meccas once courted only the largest brand-name stores that offered the same products no matter where in the U.S. you were shopping. According to a Nov. 15, 2017 article from  The Wall Street Journal, that time is no more. These days, the landlords who run America’s best malls are instead turning their attention to “lesser-known retailers and startups that started online but have amassed customers and brand recognition.”

This shift is of interest to Gordon Tang, who is the chairman of American Pacific International Capital (APIC), a commercial real estate investment company that owns and operates two shopping malls. One of them is the Saigon Village in Fremont, California. This multi-purposed development turns its Southeast Asia inspiration into a facility that houses various small retailors. Gordon Tang believes that tenant diversification is a lesson that entrepreneurs can learn from The Wall Street Journal piece.  According to the article, the 1.3 million square feet that make up west Los Angeles’ Century City open-air mall is home to some stores that have no product for sale. Instead, they are showrooms that customers can order from and  have products delivered to their home. “Such stores take up less square footage since they don’t need to hold inventory at the back of the store,” the article explains. The risk for landlords that rent out space to up-and-coming operations is that there is little track record to go on.

Gordon Tang comments that there will always be risks associated with any business strategy.  However, as consumers’ shopping habits change, businesses must adapt accordingly.  Otherwise, they risk being left behind.

Gordon Tang, Huaidan Chen Show Interest In Hotel Demand Near World Series Games

Gordon Tang Huaidan Chen

While many of us typically root for the home team, post-season games held out-of-town often call for a pilgrimage and overnight stays in hotels. This has recently been the case in Houston and Los Angeles as 2017 World Series games continue to unfold in late October and early November. According to an Oct. 26, 2017 USA Today article, hotels within one mile of Minute Maid Park, in Houston, Texas — where game 3 of the World Series was played — typically cost anywhere between $899 to $499 per night. While that’s part of the game for some fans, it’s a major opportunity for hotel owners to capitalize on.

Regardless of whether the Houston Astros or Los Angeles Dodgers come out on top, the lodging aspect is of great interest to Gordon Tang. That’s because he’s chairman of American Pacific International Capital (APIC), which has five boutique hotels in San Francisco, California: Hotel Metropolis, Carriage Inn, the Good Hotel, Best Western PLUS Americana and Hotel Vertigo. In nearby Los Angeles, tourism groups were offering hotel packages should the final two games of the World Series play out there. Given Gordon Tang’s vested interest in the hotel industry and his involvement in windsurfing, the international businessman believes that sports are big business no matter where you are.

According to the USA Today article, prices for hotel rooms drop off sharply the farther away you move from the ballpark. For example, the newspaper found some rooms that could be had for about $150 per night in Houston. Over in Los Angeles, some hotels are offering food and beverage credits for hotel restaurants, discounted self-parking, team gear and even Uber credits on top of lower room rates to make their hotels more appealing to compete with the ones nearby. Huaidan Chen, who is on the APIC’s board of directors, says that promotional packages such as these are considerations that hotel owners will heed to ensure that their guest’s stay is as enjoyable as possible. The reason for this, besides being a responsive business, is that it creates repeat customers and increases brand recognition. Huaidan Chen says that even a welcome gift of Cracker Jacks snack food, as noted in the article, is a goodwill gesture that guests will likely remember the next time they need to find a hotel.

Gordon Tang, who is also the president of the Cambodia Sailing team, says that he’s paying close attention to the tourism market surrounding the baseball games.  To Gordon Tang, the performance of the hospitality industry around the World Series offers useful reference for those involved in the preparation of the 2023 Southeast Asian Games (SEA). According to previous reports, Cambodian government officials signed off on a $100 million, 60,000-seat stadium to be constructed ahead of the event. This kind of sports events brings people together and stimulate local economy, says Huaidan Chen.