Interesting article by Natasha Stokes published this week. It looks at how shopping centres/malls are changing, especially with regards the provision of other kinds of service operations such as restaurants, hotels, and cinemas. The old style shopping mall had a familiar footprint – lots of shops, a central food court with multiple fast food offers, and kiosks or pop-ups in the pedestrian areas. This served consumers who basically wanted to buy and go. Today however, we live in the so-called “experience economy” in which consumers expect to enjoy shopping by having a wider range of activities to participate in. This can be to the advantage of the retailer, because the more time shoppers spend in the mall the more they spend.
So malls have changed, and are changing, in a number of ways:
- a wider range of food outlets are provided, not just fast food
- these outlets cover all day parts, since malls like to be open for as long as possible in order to utilise their capacity more. This means fast food for breakfasts, casual diners for lunch, and even upscale dining for evenings.
- rather than clustered together in a food court this more diverse range of restaurants are located around the mall
- the food offering should also be “on trend” i.e. reflect current eating out trends in that locale
- consumers have other reasons to visit the mall, for instance cinemas, hotels or performance areas.