In our market the mall still plays an important purpose in many consumers lives but just because it plays its purpose doesn’t mean the consumer is keen on going to it. The occasion of going to the mall is filled with much less excitement than before. Consumers are exposed to so many events and exciting experiences that the experience of the mall itself fails to capture them as it did in the past. Going to the mall used to be a fun experience. Not as much as time has progressed and society evolved. Malls just have to adapt to what was an inevitable change in consumer needs and desires. It’s always been about the shops and if there was an alternative to the mall consumers would be open to it. Online shopping has been one of those alternatives as well as market experiences and stand-alone stores that offer more excitement.

Malls have made the effort to connect with consumers through lifestyle and experiences. This has been seen in new lifestyle enhancing mall designs and layouts as well as third-party collaborations that draw in the crowds. Fitness, food, beauty and fashion showcases have taken place in malls. Perhaps the answer lies not in the mall itself or collaborations with external entities alone but rather in the many shops that are in the mall and have always been in the mall. Each shop is different and can offer consumers unique consumer experiences. Yes, there is a service element that has always been there and most often disappointing service. We know that unique experiences are reigning with the consumer and they find malls boring. Therefore, by shops turning what they are already doing on its head and seeking to sell experiences beyond products relevant to their consumer and brand – it could be the opportunity to change the reputation of malls and make it exciting again.

Malls are the middle ground between the consumer who wants excitement and many different stores that can offer different consumers with different experiences that create a strong feeling of excitement.

Recreating Retail Malls

Gabrielle Mixon
Content Creator & Trend Analyst. Gabrielle cares about people, making her passionate about learning about and from them which in turn helps her identify trends and insights that help brands grow. Email: gabrielle@trender.co.za

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