Malls have had a tough run for the past few years. Once the wave of mass store closures that caused the ‘retail apocalypse’ scare hit, shopping malls took the brunt of it.
In the blink of an eye, mall assets became empty and vacancy rates were on the rise. Many of us have been thinking that the shopping mall model was ‘dead’ and didn’t have much hope to be revived.
However, in the latter half of 2019 things began to change. Brands announced their return to the mall scene after re-configuring their strategies to accommodate the new era of retail. But what does this mean for malls?
The biggest question on everyone’s mind is about the value proposition that malls have to offer to contemporary shoppers. What exactly will draw consumers into shopping malls this year? Whatever it is, it would have to be incredibly appealing – and so far, the developments are gearing up to be just that.
Here are 6 trending things that will be driving shoppers back into malls in 2020:
Successful brands are evacuating big department stores and taking their own stand as small, independent storefronts.
Retail companies are using these smaller locations to boost brand identity and establish a greater culture around their services. It’s chic, exclusive, and very attractive. The store’s aesthetics are concise, harmonious and sleek – which is everything that today’s shoppers love.
These smaller spaces also give brands the chance to boost consumer engagements and interact with shoppers on a one-on-one level. It’s providing a customized retail experience that is all the rage in today’s market.
Specialty events will be another big perk for shopping malls. Pop-up shops and events will be a main strategy to attract people back to malls. Whether it’s a brand-specific event or a mall-wide occasion, these pop-ups can be broadcasted across social media with enticing graphics that are sure to spark the interest of shoppers.
Online shopping will be collaborating with physical retail through BOPIS – buy online pickup in store.
The option to get online purchases instantly via a pick-up counter in and brick-and-mortar location is appealing to shoppers. And, once they are in the mall, it’s likely that they will make additional purchases. It’s a great tactic to drive traffic into shopping centers.
There’s one thing that can never be delivered through the online-shopping module, and that’s an in-person experience. Malls are adopting experiential amenities anywhere they can. This trend is all about harnessing the tactile, social, and leisurely aspects of shopping.
Technology will also be playing a big role in boosting malls this year and beyond.
AI and automation can be applied in many different ways to improve the shopping experience. Plus, technology is cutting-edge and cool. Investing in tech tools, such as increased security or augmented-reality dressing rooms, will be key additions to today’s malls.
Going Beyond Retail
Finally, malls will be extending far beyond mere retail in 2020. Expect to see gaming centers, spas, fitness boutiques, entertainment options, high-class dining, and other attractions popping up within malls. These locations have more to offer than just shopping – making it fun for everyone.
These 6 trends will be reshaping malls in 2020 and beyond.