I read a recent article in Forbes that talked about upheaval in the shopping mall industry. There's a link to it at the end of my commentary and I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on it as well. Here are mine:
“HURRY AND DIE MALLS."
Your days are over. People want a social experience, not products. Mark-downs and sales clerks. As we all know, the hype, “Retail is Dead” is just that, hype. Consider the following. 87% of consumer retail is transacted in brick & mortar, physical stores. Yes, you heard me…87%. In fact, a recent NRF report stated retail sales, in stores, are up 4.9%. NOT e/comm, by true shopping and social interaction.
The net is, if you fear Amazon will put you out of business, shame on you! You “owned” your customers for decades, but did you do anything to earn their loyalty except showcase your products? 30% of my personal shopping is on-line. Mostly under $50 commodities. 70% is spent with retailers who invest in their employees training & wages, innovative products, and exceptional customer service, both pre and post sale. Malls are (I hate this word), “transforming” into social town centers with entertainment (movies, concerts, festivals), attractions (claiming walls, work-out centers, VR and the like), hard goods (driver training hosted by auto manufacturers, cooking classes hosted by appliance manufacturers and the like) and most of all, a place to stop texting and start socializing”. Mall dead? Yes, while town centers are thriving!”
After spending the last few weeks writing about the grocery industry, it is time to discuss another industry that is in an even greater state of upheaval — the shopping mall industry.
The mall game has become a split between the haves and the have-nots. Class A malls are thriving, while Class B and C malls are struggling. That is especially true of Class C malls. Pictures of recently abandoned malls, like the one above, are some of the scariest things going on the internet right now. One smart, enterprising mall in Minnesota even plans to convert an old anchor tenant location, formerly a Herberger’s department store, into a haunted house this October. Talk about irony!