In this age of digital commerce, malls are facing logistics challenges that they must overcome or face an uncertain future.
The popularity of malls is declining forseveral reasons. For example, with 25 square feet for every American they are over saturating the population, and they often fail to match the demographics of their location or adapt to the trend of where customers are spending money.
Moreover, department stores account for 50% of retail lease space and are shuttering their doors as store trends show an uptick in health, beauty, home furnishings and restaurant space.
David Dixon, senior principal and planning and urban design leader with Stantec says that “the traditional mall is gone for now. Main Street is in and covered malls are out. Malls are finding a different meaning and purpose. They are becoming the downtown the suburbs never had.”
Malls today aren’t just about shopping, but also entail the experience of meals, entertainment, retail and even exercise and community outside spaces. Access to technology is yet another integral part of the puzzle.
“You couldn’t do this at home,” says Jeff Gunning, senior vice president of architectural firm CallisonRTKL . “These types of innovations are just as exciting as any of those online and make the mall more exciting than ever before.”