"Believe me, it's a banner year," Bethers said.
Though Bethers would not reveal exact figures, she said sales went up
9% in 2000.
To surpass $500 in sales per square foot "has been a goal of ours for
a long time," she said.
The Galleria did better than many other malls in the nation, said John
Konarski, senior vice president of the International Council of Shopping
Centers. The New York-based group serves as an international trade
association for the shopping-center industry.
A survey of malls throughout the U.S. showed $323 was the average
amount of sales per square foot in 1999, Konarski said. The figure for
2000 was not available Monday.
"[The Galleria] is certainly one of the better performing malls in the
country," Konarski said. "If you're at the $500-per-square-foot level,
you're doing a lot of things right."
The success of a mall depends on several factors, including its
location and the mix of retailers, he said.
The holidays were especially merry for the galleria.
Sales were up 6.6% in November and 2.4% in December over the same
months in 1999, Bethers said.
"We had expected to increase," she said. "This is actually a bit more
than we expected."
FAO Schwarz sold more toys than anticipated in December.
"We actually did well," store Manager Marie Hidalgo said.
She attributed the success to having more merchandise in stock this
"We weren't running out of stuff like we did the year before," Hidalgo
Shoppers spent more money at Brookstone in the 2000 holiday season but
store Manager Jim Thompson said sales were not as high as expected.
"It wasn't a disaster," he said. "It was ... a little softer than we
would have liked."
Industry experts figured factors such as the ups and downs of the
stock market, high gasoline prices and the uncertainty of the 2000
presidential election would slow holiday sales.
"Across the rest of the country and even in this area, malls were not
performing well against last year," Bethers said.
"We were pleased with our results," she said.