In particular, Dave & Buster's expansion has benefited from the fall of retail giants like Sears. Vacancies in mall locations have offered it a chance to snag prime real estate in highly trafficked areas, including the outside "anchor" spot.
In 2017, Dave & Buster's opened 14 new stores, seven of which were located in malls.
Typically, about a third of the company's locations are in shopping malls, with the other two-thirds split evenly between free-standing buildings and locations that are in semi-attached buildings, like strip malls, King told CNBC.
"Mall developers like us," he said. "They can measure that we drive traffic to their malls in a way that an anchor might have done previously."
King called the vacated Sears locations "a good fit," noting that they provide Dave & Buster's with three key things: access to major roadways, high visibility and lots of parking.
"Given the size of the available locations, it fits fairly well for [Dave & Buster's]," Lynne Collier, analyst at Canaccord, told CNBC. "They are a big traffic driver and generate strong sales, so landlords would like to have a Dave & Buster's on property," Collier said.
Dave & Buster's has a flexible real estate model, according to Collier, which allows it to operate within malls and as stand-alone locations.
While a Dave & Buster's can easily fill one floor of a vacant Sears location, often these stores have three floors.
At so-called A malls, operators can fill the massive space by splitting it up among entertainment brands like Dave & Buster's, fitness centers, grocery stores and off-price apparel companies like Burlington or TJX's TJ Maxx or Marshalls, Garrick Brown, vice president of retail research at Cushman & Wakefield, told CNBC.
They can even charge higher rent to new occupants and boost the mall's income.
However, for "B" and "C" malls, which may not be in prime locations or have already faced bankrupt companies fleeing their storefronts, filling that massive space can be a bit more difficult.
King said that mall operators have been seeking out Dave & Buster's "quite aggressively" to fill these spaces, but that the company has been careful about choosing the right locations to move into.
He said that declining mall traffic has not been good for the brand and it's just one piece of why the company struggled with sales in the last quarter. Dave & Buster's cut its sales and profit outlook for 2017 last month, citing slower-than-expected sales during one of its traditionally strongest seasons. In the wake of that sell-off, Dave & Buster's stock remains down 15 percent.
The company has not disclosed when it will report fourth-quarter earnings. However, when it issued its profit warning, it said its newer locations were outperforming its older ones.
King told CNBC that the company has been able to continue to lure in customers because it is "destination-oriented."
"The way I say it is that they are much more likely to buy a pair of socks after they go to D&B than go to the mall to buy socks and then go to D&B," King said.