The malls that will survive into the future will be the ones that offer more than just retail. It will be crucial for mall operators to provide a variety of experiences and places that foster socialization. These malls, or lifestyle centers, can be achieved by reintegrating living, working, learning, playing – not only within the mall structures – but also through activation of the underutilized parking. Patrick Kulp of Mashable writes:
“Desperate to plug empty retail holes, mall owners are turning to less traditional businesses like gyms, grocery stores, and high-end restaurants to keep foot traffic flowing.
Some have even transformed parts of the buildings into office parks, medical facilities, or homes.
The new trend raises the question: What even is a mall anymore?
According to CBL & Associates, modern malls need to be “vibrant town centers,” replete with lifestyle and entertainment options beyond simple retail. The property group announced a rebrand of its own 113 spaces to this effect on Thursday.
The idea is to preserve the function that malls once served as a suburban social institution for a generation that may not even know what a “mall rat” is.”
Read more about reenergizing malls through Sprawl Repair.