When websites like Amazon and ebay exist, why on earth would we want to trudge all the way to the mall to make a purchase we can easily make online? With Amazon Prime, we don’t even have to go to the grocery store. It’s no wonder malls seem to be dying around North America. Compared to our other options, they’re just so inconvenient.
To be honest, we kind of miss the good times we had at the mall. It was a fun place to hang out, shop, grab a Yogen Fruz and maybe even step into the photo-booth for a second. Plus, remember all the fun every group of teens from 90’s and 00’s sitcoms seemed to have at that place? It was an endless source of shenanigans and trendy new purchases.
Though the mall may be less popular now, it looks like they aren’t going gently into that good night, they’re going to be putting up a fight to keep us interested. We’re listening.
Doug Stephens, author of ‘Reengineering Retail,’ says that malls are going to be upping their game to keep us coming back and it’s not just about shopping anymore. We’ll likely be seeing the mall regain its status as a popular hang-out spot, but with some significant adjustments. He outlined a few ways it looks like malls will try to up that foot-traffic.
Obviously a mall is only as good as the stores within it, but it looks like we might see some bigger names in unusual places. What’s a quick way to swankify your mall? Throw in a Louis Vuitton, a Michael Kors or a Pandora. Not only will it up your street cred, names like those will draw people from a wider radius. Every mall has an American Eagle, but you can’t get Coach just anywhere. Expect to see some fancier stores coming to the malls that are fighting for your business.
We can get it online, but it’s still pretty uncommon. Malls can still capitalize with those mall-only food selections like Orange Julius, Laura Secord or Cinnabon. We’ve also seen an increase in sit-down restaurants attached to malls. Places like The Keg and Milestones are latching on in a way customary of The Bay and Sears. Plus it’s pretty nice to go for a stroll around the mall after a filling steak dinner.
We doubt we’ll be getting West Edmonton Mall-caliber attractions country-wide, but we could see more entertainment at our local mall than just the shopping. Already lots of malls have added movie theatres which is always a good idea. It’s pretty common to see a bowling alley in a mall too. Basically, malls are looking at becoming one-stop-shops for not only your retail needs, but your entertainment and culinary needs too.
Stevens also pointed out that we might be seeing a lot more public events happening at malls to encourage traffic. We would be particularly interested if these events included free food and/or samples (nudge, nudge). It seems like the revamped mall is checking all the boxes for a cool place to hang out. It could even be a great contender for date night. Maybe the days of hanging out at the mall aren’t behind us after all.