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The Future Of The Shopping Mall Is Not About Shopping #retail #forbes #shopping #amazon

June 27, 2018

At Cellar Door, for the past 15 years we’ve been immersed in the world of retail. Under various guises we’ve maintained relationships with some of the leading names on the British high street. Over this time the pace of innovation has left some retailers and shopping centres becoming redundant as they have been slow to react to change and new consumer behaviours.

China, Shopping, Augmented Reality, The Future

The below extract presented by Jon Bird for Forbes.com highlights the need for stronger propositions from shopping centres in showcasing mixed use benefits. Those who continue to be slow to adapt are irresponsibly jeopardising the livelihoods of their employees who trust them to make sound business decisions. In short, change and innovate or disappear…

When Cirque du Soleil announced plans for a “family entertainment” concept inside a Toronto mall, it said a lot about the future of shopping centers. The 24,000 sq.ft. space, called “Creactive”, will be a circus-inspired playground with a range of activities from juggling to high-wire – allowing fans to “peek behind the curtain and imagine themselves stepping into our artists’ shoes”, according to Marie Josée Lamy, producer of Creactive. “Hanging at the mall” will take on an entirely new connotation as shoppers take to the flying trapeze. And that’s the point.

No longer is it good enough for malls to be passive places to buy stuff – they have to be engaging places to do stuff. Otherwise, this particular retail format will be relegated to relic status – “a historical anachronism, a 60-year or so aberration that no longer meets the public’s, the consumer’s or the retailer’s needs”, as developer Rick Caruso mused.

With that point in mind, I draw your attention to Exhibit A: Randall Park Mall in Ohio. When it opened in 1976, Randall Park Mall was briefly the world’s biggest shopping center. It quickly lost relevance however, and by 2000, Randall Park Mall’s vacancy rate was 92%. Fast forward to 2017 when it was revealed that Amazon was constructing a 855,000 shipping center on the same site. Online triumphs over offline, or “software eats retail” as Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen memorably put it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Like any kind of retail, the mall as a construct is not dead, but it does need to be radically reinvented. (Having said that, there are acres of digital real estate dedicated to the premise that the mall has had its day – for example, Time Magazine’s article on “Why the Death of Malls Is About More Than Shopping”, and Deadmalls.com, a quirky website that chronicles the demise of centers. I myself have written on “Zombie malls”.)

Westfield’s vision of the future of the mall: Destination 2028

For the full article continue to Forbes.com

Article penned by Jon Bird

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