The Future Of Shopping Malls


Are you bored at mall? 

Do you go there just to shop or you expect some other content to make you engaged too? How do you imagine malls to look like in the future and what do you think shopping centres will be like in a decade? Retail expert Dennis Price, has been working on the research regarding these questions and came up to some interesting conclusions.

Although it is very hard to predict the future of this kind of market, there are certain things that do make some malls stand out comparing to others.

Price thinks the offer of the malls will change very soon.

The main purpose of shopping centres is retail experience and it has been like this since beginning. Still, in the last decade, malls tend to focus on some other offers as well, mostly food industry retailing. So, you will find many people visiting the malls simply for window shopping and maybe just going out to enjoy the meal. This becomes more popular type of experience visitors practise. New dimension of enjoying in the mall – going out for dinner or lunch.

Recently, the emphasis has widened to include services like healthcare, libraries, even gyms.

Did you know that the biggest mall in the world, Dubai mall, includes some of the best hospitals within it’s service? One famous South African healthcare institution has it’s Dubai Headquarter in this mall, so many people go for their medical treatment there. They get two in one: great location and good service. 

Price considers one of the factors that slow down the innovations in mall development are strict local government planning regulations. Also, many investors demand rigid lease structures to minimize the risk. This will need to change in order to provide more flexibility for new ideas to come.

Technology will also play a key part in features of the new mall.

Although, nothing compares to human contact and interaction with sales people, more buyers are relaying on tap-and-go payment. Higher frequency of purchase has been registered with payment card buyers. Credit and debit card adopters undertake statistically significantly more transactions compared to non-adopters. Modern age maybe tests human patience and behaviour too, so people sometimes prefer the silent and quick shopping method.

It is a great question how to deal with the nature of e-commerce, as well. There are customers who are doing the purchase only in this way. And the numbers of such buyers keep increasing. Still, the challenge for the future is to find the key elements of differentiation between virtual shopping and physical space with interaction with real people and to focus on what works the best for both customer and a retail market, in years to come.

Price claims that the malls that survive will do so, because they address the core values that support all consumption. One of the main ones is, already mentioned, the value of experience. The more complete the landlord is about responding to these values, the more prosperous the future.

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