Fifty years ago, a young man from Boston, with $50 in his pocket, drove to Columbus to visit a relative. Herb Glimcher stayed in Columbus and founded a lumber and building supply company that expanded into developing retail shopping centers, then regional and super-regional malls. Today, Glimcher Realty Trust, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GRT, owns and manages 21.7 million square feet of retail space in 26 properties located in 14 states.
Glimcher developed its first enclosed malls in Ohio, opening Indian Mound Mall in Newark in 1986, followed by River Valley Mall in Lancaster in 1987 and New Towne Mall in New Philadelphia in 1988. The Glimcher Company became a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) on January 20, 1994 when an initial public offering (IPO) was held for shares in Glimcher Realty Trust.
Over the next decade, Glimcher embarked upon an aggressive expansion plan that included development and acquisitions into new markets. In 1999, Glimcher opened Jersey Gardens, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Jersey Gardens has become one of the top tourist destinations in the state and last year was visited by shoppers from all parts of the world including over 120 countries and all 50 states. In 2001, Glimcher held a grand opening for Polaris Fashion Place, a flagship of upscale retail shopping in Columbus. Earlier this year, Glimcher opened the first phase of Scottsdale Quarter, its first open-air lifestyle center in Scottsdale, Ariz., and completed a lifestyle center addition at Polaris Fashion Place.
Over its first half-century, Glimcher has evolved its real estate portfolio from community shopping centers to enclosed malls that are leading shopping destinations in their market areas. Along the way, Glimcher has pioneered the introduction of wireless internet, mobile marketing and many green energy initiatives.
Herb Glimcher retired from the company’s management team in 2005 and his son Michael P. Glimcher took over as chief executive officer of the company. Michael Glimcher has led the company’s portfolio transition – divesting its community shopping centers and investing in mall properties.
Glimcher is intent on executing a simple strategy: Focus on Quality – made up of two components: a focus on people and a focus on real estate. Mall store occupancy and sales grew significantly from 2004 through 2008 and even through the recent economic tumult; the company has maintained occupancy above 90 percent.
One thing that has not changed since the company’s founding is the commitment to its employees and the communities in which it operates. Glimcher has two programs that annually support and give back to the local community: Magical Time of Giving since 1998 and Earning for Learning since 2003. Magical Time of Giving events have helped local non-profits raise over $2 million in the past three years, and through the Earning for Learning program, Glimcher has donated over $550,000 to local schools in the past two years.
In November, Glimcher and its associates are commemorating the 50th anniversary by completing 50 acts of community service in 50 days. Additionally, the company is partnering with the United Way in 20 cities to give back and thank local communities for their support. The corporate office and each mall location will lead a food drive to collect 50,000 pounds of food for area United Way food banks.
The Mall at Johnson City will collect non-perishable food items at the Guest Service Center until Sunday, November 22. Customers can enter to win a $500 VISA gift card for every five non-perishable food items donated. All donations will support the Salvation Army Food Bank, a United Way member.
“Celebrating our 50th anniversary is testament to our people,” said Michael Glimcher, chairman and CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust. “We’re proud to be a cornerstone in the Columbus community and look forward to continuing to provide access to relevant shopping destinations throughout the country.”
About The Mall at Johnson City
The Mall at Johnson City is anchored by Belk for Her, Belk Home, DICK’S Sporting Goods, JCPenney and Sears and is located at 2011 North Roan Street, Johnson City, TN. It features nearly 85 specialty shops and the ETSU Food Court. For more information about any Mall at Johnson City store or event, please visit www.mallatjohnsoncity.com. The Mall at Johnson City is open Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Mall at Johnson City is owned and managed by Glimcher Realty Trust of Columbus, Ohio.
About Glimcher Realty Trust
Glimcher Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust, is a recognized leader in the ownership, management, acquisition and development of regional and super-regional malls. At December 31, 2008, the Company's mall portfolio, including assets held through one of the Company's strategic joint ventures, consisted of 23 properties located in 14 states with gross leasable area totaling approximately 20.9 million square feet. The community center portfolio is comprised of four properties representing approximately 769,000 square feet.
Glimcher Realty Trust's common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GRT." Glimcher Realty Trust's Series F and Series G preferred shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols "GRT-F" and "GRT-G," respectively. Glimcher Realty Trust is a component of both the Russell 2000® Index, representing small cap stocks, and the Russell 3000® Index, representing the broader market.