Shopping centers and major malls are adapting as they face stiffer competition from online channels, retail bankruptcies and the threat of declining foot traffic. While it’s not all bad news, they’ve had to find new ways to compete for consumers’ attention and retail spending.
Differentiating the consumer offering, with a focus on experience and convenience, has been a key strategy for shopping centers and major malls across the nation. They’re recasting themselves as the new downtown, bringing in entirely new types of experiences for consumers.
Shopping centers and major malls are shaking up their tenant mixes in an effort to offer more unique experiences, informed by geographical, demographic, and competitive shopping center data.
How Are Shopping Centers and Major Malls Changing?
Garrick Brown, Cushman & Wakefield’s national retail research director & vice president for retail intelligence, claims one of the most dominant trends is the rising amount of mall space occupied by food and entertainment retailers. A decade ago, Brown claims, food and entertainment only accounted for 10 percent of mall space. As of two years ago, that number has doubled and soon food and entertainment will comprise 25% of all shopping center and mall space.
This is an incredible rise in a short amount of time. Food halls are being adopted at a rapid pace, especially when celebrity chefs are a part of the mix. The Beverly Center in Los Angeles, for example, is opening a food hall curated by Michael Mina, as well as a Mina’s Cal Mare restaurant. This transformation is the keystone of a $500 million renovation.
Entertainment and local engagement is an equally important part of the tenant mix for shopping centers and major malls. Pacific Retail Capital Partners, after recently completing a multimillion-dollar redevelopment, hosted a culinary competition for local chefs to compete for new space in the shopping center. Local artists were brought in to paint over 20,000 square feet of murals, all of which boosted community engagement and foot traffic. In another property Pacific Retail owns, a pop-up shop in an underutilized common area increased ancillary income by 71%.
Adding entertainment to the mix is vital for maintaining visitors. Many major malls and shopping centers across the nation are now adding 4D theaters, entire theme parks, fitness centers, walk-in clinics and more in an effort to keep consumers coming back to the mall for a greater variety of leisurely activities.
Retail Data for Transforming the Shopping Experience
The shopping experience is quickly changing, but for major malls and shopping centers, it’s not enough to simply realize the need for better consumer experiences – change must be driven by sound strategy and backed by reliable data.
Accessing detailed demographic data on areas surrounding a shopping center or mall is necessary for finding the correct tenant mix. Balancing the area’s interest in fitness, entertainment, fine dining, local art and other experiences maximizes foot traffic. Deep consumer insights, based on demographic and psychographic data and historical shopping behavior, reveals the best way forward for shopping centers and major malls.
Competitive data on other shopping centers is an equally important source of retail data. Monitoring store openings and closures, yearly revenue figures and planned redevelopments helps paint a fuller picture of what’s working and what’s not in a particular area. This competitive data can also show a major mall or shopping center what they lack in comparison to their biggest competitors, further revealing what needs to be done to drive more foot traffic.
Major mall and shopping center data is a key component of finding the right tenant mix and bringing in more foot traffic from surrounding areas. Without comprehensive retail data, shopping centers and major malls navigate the shifting retail landscape blindly.
Shopping experiences across the country are changing for the better. To compete with increasingly popular online retail channels, shopping centers and major malls are delivering an entirely new experience to bring consumers back.
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