The mall sucks..despite what ICSC tells you...and what it means to you.
The mall as we know it is dying. But I would like to wager it’s not because of lack of foot traffic due to the rise in online shopping. It is the changing taste of the people. We have been rewired to enjoy experiences in a different way. Our phones and electronics are now an extension versus a tool to use. Yet, the mall has been left essentially unchanged. .
The recent article in Retail Drive highlighted that many big mall owners are still a bit blind to this notion that their assets aren’t what they used to be. And many are now embracing technology to combat this trend.
The article sites a tech firm focused on physical search within the mall. Umm, I guess that’s cool. I assume that’s a play on using an app type interface versus using the large illuminated “You are here” maps. That evoked a whopping, “meh”.
Let’s face facts, the mall is just terrible.
Ever been to one at night? It’s terrifying. It looks like Ocean City’s Boardwalk. And it’s typically pretty packed with people, so I am not buying foot traffic is declining.
What’s broken is the experience. We don’t need the mall to be “easier” and make our lives simpler. That’s as exciting as vanilla ice cream with grandma. (no offense nana).
The mall is and always will be something to do. Someplace to go with your friends, spouse, significant other, etc. Because although we are glued to our phones, it’s for the fact that we want to interact with people.
That is why we go to the mall. However, owners are clinging to this antiquated notion that we are there to shop of all things! Ha! Sure, we still like the impulse buys. The need to see how it fits before we spend the dough. The browsing, the smells, the interaction with our senses. But, the intention of being there is certainly not to buy!
Two examples of retailers doing it right.
Look at the Apple store. They typically boast the highest sales per square foot of any other mall retailer. The place is always packed. Why? People want to go interact with all of their stuff. They want the experience. The actual retail portion is very small. And they Hoover the money right out of our wallets.
Under Armour would be the other retailer getting it very right. Although not in the traditional mall/ shopping sense. They are betting big time on the integration of retail goods and technology. Kevin Plank, their founder and CEO, sees this as the future.
See the correlation. These companies are extending the experience of their core products.
How does this impact you?
It doesn’t you narcissist, unless you want to take advantage of this time period. Yes, I am going to ask you to sign up for my email list. Why? Because, I want put together people that think like you and I. People that want to make a shit ton of money finding creative solutions to this issue. How fun would that be! Why else would this information be of use to you, unless it’s for personal gain.
Thought so. Now sign up below and let’s do this.