Shopping malls may have to make some changes to thrive in the coming years. While they are defined as one or more buildings forming a complex with retail stores, walkways and the ability to go from one store to another, they may not be defined in the same way in the near future. For many communities, shopping malls represent the center of retail and shopping.
Originally, shopping malls started in the United States, but since then, they have become a global phenomenon with the five largest shopping malls found in the Asian region. In fact, the New South China Mall in Dongguan, China is the largest shopping mall in the world when measured in terms of gross leasable area, and second in terms of total area to The Dubai Mall.
Trends are changing and the way people shop has been leaning towards the online world for years now. Companies, such as Amazon and eBay are redefining the shopping experience and more traditional retailers are getting in on the action. Visiting a mall is no longer about just the convenience of many shops under one roof. Consumers expect an experience and it cannot be just about traditional shopping.
Why Shopping Malls Will Evolve Instead of Disappearing
While the trends are changing and more people are shopping online, many still crave the social interaction a shopping mall can provide. Instead of just housing numerous retailers, shopping malls have started to evolve into public spaces for socializing. Many include movie theaters, bars, restaurants and other places to gather already. This trend is expected to continue as shopping malls will evolve into a place for social interaction instead of just a place to shop.
Investing in the shopping malls of the future may provide a great return. Since a larger portion of social interaction happens online in today’s world, people tend to seek out places to interact face-to-face. They feel as if this is a missing piece of their life. New shopping malls are catching onto this trend and adding many different options, such as:
- Art Centers
- Music Venues
- Fitness Clubs
- Farmer’s Markets
- Entertainment Venues
- Bowling Alleys
- Golf Ranges
- And More!
Some have even gone as far as to add water parks and theme parks to attract more attention. The emphasis has shifted from convenient shopping options to a more social experience with dining and entertainment at the forefront. With the evolution of the shopping mall, it’s very possible that many will start to return to a more traditional style of shopping because of the experience provided.
Retail Remains a Strong Investment
The mall evolution has started to catch on with new technology, multichannel shopping strategies and plenty of entertainment options available. These changes will help retail investments to remain strong, as malls become a place for gathering, dining, entertainment and still a great place for shopping.
Even though people are shopping online more today than in the past, shopping malls are still relevant. Many are evolving into an experience instead of just a place to shop. Retail investments remain strong when it comes to shopping malls due to the evolution into a more social experience.