As we have seen malls transform due to changing times and e-commerce, it comes as no surprise that mall owners are looking for new and exciting ways to bring in foot traffic. In recent years we have seen success with malls incorporating fitness centers, mini golf courses and even ax throwing in some places. However, some of these “Experiential Retail” offerings require quite expensive buildouts and are extremely customized to their offering. Is an indoor ski slope sustainable? Probably not for most malls and very expensive to operate. However, these are interesting concepts to keep an eye on to see if in fact if they really do work and keep malls in operation.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, before e-commerce took off there was a huge boom to build shopping malls. It looks as though the spaces will have to constantly change with the times. Will shopping malls build more children playgrounds or indoor pickleball courts in the future? Or will we see more closings? The mall business model will be interesting to watch. In certain demographic areas some malls will continue to remain strong while others may be forced to close.
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