The death of the mall has become a popular part of the “retail apocalypse” narrative. While some malls are clearly in trouble, many are doing well and others are finding new, more profitable and useful lives through transformations big and small.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.forbes.com
So I found this article interesting (sorry for having to wait on the Forbes ad) not so much for its conclusion but rather for the voices that are chanting the same thing over and over – malls and retail stores are not dying. Retail is not dying, we get it. Yes there will be stores but it’s the numbers of, their configuration and what role they will play in the shopping journey that will change. That may not meet the definition of dying but we are getting into semantics now. The behavior of the retail customer a) has changed, b) is continuing to change and c) the rate of change in increasing – big time.
What I think gets lost in these endless articles about the physical store, is the fact that the WAY we shop has changed and old behaviors are dying of sorts. With many items that we are familiar with we don’t feel compelled to travel to stores to obtain, auto reordering and home delivery is fast becoming a preferred way for purchasing these goods. We also have been trained to love the one stop shopping – it was the retail big box stores that taught us this over the years. Well go figure, that behavior translates really well into the digital world and served as training wheels for a new behavior that is impacting those same stores.
When we do go shopping at the mall, there is an increased propensity to browse in store and shop online, while in the store (showroom syndrome). At the very least we will check the price against an Amazon or read reviews to see if there is something better out there.
So while it may be true, malls won’t die tomorrow, they are going to have to be transformed to better align with customer behaviors. The real story here isn’t the attractiveness or geographic location of the mall – it’s us and our preferred behaviors.