Who doesn’t like retail therapy, right? It is a great stress reliever especially if money is not an issue. If you look at how shopping habits of the people have changed over the years, much has really changed and it is obvious to what malls look like now than it did in the past. As technology has gradually become a crucial aspect of our lives, it has likewise shaped many of our habits and shopping is not an exception. Malls and various establishments all over the country have long since noticed this change and many weren’t able to cope with the gradual decrease in shoppers as most people have discovered the joys of online shopping.
Little by little, the shoppers started favoring online shopping over traditional shopping because of the sheer convenience it offers. Imagine not having to waste hours on the mall and spending more for gas and food or spend extra time grooming yourself so you are presentable in public. A lot of stores and malls started closing over the years because many people stopped going to physical malls, so mall owners had to be more creative and started offering various attractions and other forms of entertainment that would encourage the people to go out of their homes and spend their money too. Other malls started leasing spaces to schools, offices, gyms, among others since many businesses decided to take their business on the web and save money.
With darkened storefronts pockmarking malls across the country, many malls nationally are undergoing makeovers to remain destinations. Shopping center developers are turning malls into regional entertainment attractions; community hubs that offer a blend of offices, classrooms, apartments, health centers and fitness gyms, and tearing down parts of some malls to create much more inviting spaces.
In the past two years, Bloomfield Hills-based Taubman Centers has added the 32,000-square-foot Legoland Discovery Center and 35,000-square-foot Sea Life Michigan Aquarium to Great Lakes Crossing. By October, the company plans to open Round 1 Bowling and Amusement. It will feature nearly 60,000 square feet of bowling, dining, karaoke, billiards, darts, ping-pong and arcade games.
Increasing globalization, modern advancements, and economic disruption are just some of the things that made a big impact on our shopping habits today and the web is the biggest factor of them all. As more millennials start to earn more and increase their spending power, they largely dictate the way the economy is going and what industries prosper or not. They are comfortable in using modern technology the most since they grew up in an environment that is full of these contraptions and more interconnected to the web than ever.
Are shopping malls doomed to fall by the wayside along with retail trends of the past?
Not quite yet. This year, Boston Retail Partners principal analyst Ken Morris shared his thoughts with Glossyon the closing department stores and what’s happening as a result. “The malls that are anchored by bad department stores, that are failing, really are dead,” Morris said. “There will be fewer malls – that is a fact. But what’s interesting is what’s happening to the good malls. They’re evolving and frankly, they’re packed.’
Malls are evolving, and retailers are finding new ways to attract customers into these multi-store venues.Malls are evolving and retailers are finding new ways to attract customers into these multi-store venues. Whether it’s adding on grocery stores like Wegman’s replacing J.C. Penney‘s in Massachusetts’ Natick Collection or arcades and trampoline parks in Florida’s Orlando Square Mall, these shopping centers are most certainly thinking outside of the box.
It is saddening to witness many malls closing over the years. Employees lose their job and businesses declare bankruptcy because of the new trend where people prefer to shop online rather than go out and purchase the products themselves. With built-in apps, who needs to exert the extra effort in finding a certain item when you can do it in a few minutes in the comfort of your own smartphone? Many big brands have already embraced this concept and have tapped into this new platform to take their business closer to the people just so they can simply remain in business. Until today, everything is still a work in progress as we continually experience more major tech breakthroughs that shape the way we live and shop and that will likely be the trend in the years to come.