70 Percent Want to See Engaging, Mixed-​Use Malls

BY Courtney Huckabay
Featured image for “70 Percent Want to See Engaging, Mixed-​Use Malls”

From shopping center to inclusive community space, America’s malls are evolving. "The narrative around the death of the mall is a myth and consumers don’t believe they are going to lose their local center anytime soon. Consumer demands and habits are evolving and malls are adapting to those new behaviors. The general sentiment is that malls will continue to play an important role but they will look different in the future, which is positive for communities across the country," said ICSC President and CEO Tom McGee.

Physical stores remain key to driving sales

  • About 165 million people went to the mall the past 3 months, over 60 million of which were millennials.
  • What’s more, 61% of adults say that physical stores will continue to capture a majority of the purchases they make.

Malls are still cool! Just ask the 8% of adults who shop at retail stores, a mall or shopping center three to four times per week, according to the newest AudienceSCAN survey results!

Consumers are optimistic about the future

  • More than four-​fifths (82%) of adults believe that shopping malls will still exist in the next 5–10 years, with nearly half (46%) saying they will look different from the current format. 
    • Top reasons cited for believing malls will continue to be part of the retail landscape include: 
      • Seeing efforts being made to update malls and improve the overall shopping experience
      • Seeing Amazon and other online retailers opening physical stores

Stores within malls, and malls themselves, can reach out to the tried-​and-​true mall shoppers with creative ad campaigns to keep them coming back. The latest AudienceSCAN study showed 4% of American adults shop at retail stores, a mall or shopping center five times or more during a week!

Malls are evolving to meet consumer demands

  • Among shoppers who currently visit malls, the top 3 reasons for going include: 
    • Visiting department stores
    • To browse
    • Visiting specialty shops
  • Shoppers cited the following as the top 3 reasons for going to malls 5–10 years ago: 
    • To browse
    • Visiting department stores
    •  Better selection/​variety of stores

Providing cool and satisfying experiences can increase mall traffic, so let Frequent Mall Shoppers know what's going on at their local malls! The most recent AudienceSCAN survey found 53% of Frequent Mall Shoppers took action after seeing ads on social networks.

Redefining the consumer’s experience at the mall

  • 70% of adults say that today, more than ever, shopping centers should focus on creating engaging experiences for consumers that combines shopping with entertainment and other services/​activities.
    • Consumers believe the following offerings are best to incorporate into malls to enhance the overall experience: 
      • Food halls/​craft breweries, other unique eating/​drinking establishments (54%)
      • Hosting local community events like farmers markets or craft fairs (50%)
      • Entertainment complexes (46%)