Property developers used to have a sure thing with shopping malls. All they needed to do was build up space and provide retailers with stalls. Soon, the mall will start making money. The problem is that the tastes of the public changed. With online shopping on the rise, malls are now on the losing end with a high chance of them closing. New malls will need to adapt to stay competitive. Fortunately, several trends can help boost shopping malls back into prominence. If you are planning to develop a shopping mall property, then you should become familiar with them.
Move Away From Pure Shopping
While we call it a shopping mall, the “shopping” part is now taking the backseat. If people wanted to buy something, they can just buy it online. What your place has to offer is something more than a place to buy things. When picking tenants, you should look for those that provide something special to potential visitors. This includes fitness clubs, spas, and more.
Position your mall as a community space. It should be the place where you go to meet friends to have some fun or where you can have a romantic date. Online shopping can’t give people that, so they will still go to the mall.
One way to emphasize how the mall is part of the community is by staging fun events. When designing the mall, you should have a large central space that can be perfect for gatherings and events. This can include concerts, art showings, and more. You can even have occasional farmer’s markets that allow for unique products from local producers.
Food Can Be A Big Draw
If there is anything that can draw people to the mall nowadays, it is food. When people are talking about an experience that is hard to copy, food offerings are usually at the top of the list. Modern mall food is much more different from what people are familiar with. Instead of mall food courts that use low-quality approaches when it comes to presentation, mall developers are now being more selective about the restaurants they allow to open on their property. They then create a cluster of these restaurants to create an entire row of food choices for visitors. Smart design also positions that restaurant row within easy reach of the entrance and exit areas of the mall.
When it comes to design, malls should seriously consider ditching the enclosed design that they traditionally use. Outdoor malls that use creative landscaping to build malls that are more relaxing and closer to nature. Shoppers can enjoy the greenery as they move from location to location. They will feel freer and part of nature. Additionally, it can greatly cut down on the energy expenses of your shopping mall operation. Instead of paying for full air conditioning, you can depend on natural air and the cooling effect of plants to help. Besides that, the COVID pandemic demands people to social distance and the wider spaces of the outdoors can do that easily.
Adding The Digital Experience
While online shopping may seem like it is killing the shopping experience, you can also use it to your advantage. Integrate a variety of digital conveniences in your shopping mall design so that shoppers can enhance their mall visit. For example, offering free Wi-Fi to mall visitors allows them access to the various shopping apps that they can use to buy more. Having a personalized mall app can also be a great thing. Allow mall visitors to book store appointments, look at schedules, and even arrange for pickup parking for those who already bought online.
Offering Niche Satisfaction
Online shopping is all about mass-market needs. If you want your shopping mall to get traffic from some people, you should choose tenants that can meet their niche needs. For example, instead of having a general approach, you can choose tenants that focus on a particular theme. A mall in Dubai decided to only offer tenancy to sports-related stores. While this may narrow down the potential visitors, people go there to meet their sporting needs and they are sure to leave satisfied. Another mall, this time in Boston, focuses on the fitness and wellness experience. Visitors can enter the mall and can spend the entire day moving through what it has to offer from gyms, spas, health-food restaurants, and beauty treatments.
The future of shopping malls is all about the community. Online shopping is all about convenience but it isolates the customer. If you want to attract more people, you should focus on the community aspects of your shopping mall experience.