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Posted on Apr 11, 2018

Shopping Malls Renovate to Become a More Communal Space

For the past decade, consumers have been first-hand witnesses to the ever-evolving shopping mall. Before the internet, shopping malls were not only the primary place to buy the latest fashion and tech, but they were also the most popular venue to spend the afternoon meeting up with friends. Although it’s no surprise that malls are now struggling to find their place in a modern society full of online discounts, free-shipping promotions and best-price merchandise, it is interesting to explore renovation ideas that just might work moving into the next century.

Communal spaces have always been attractive to all generations for a number of reasons. For seniors and middle-aged generations, it’s what people are used to, and it’s both convenient and comfortable to seek out public areas for enjoyment and relaxation throughout the day. For younger adults and busy families, it makes sense to be able to multi-task and get the most out of their outing for the sheer sake of being economical. While it comes down to more than nostalgia, shopping mall real estate continues to rethink its history in hopes of continued survival.

Malls remind their community of a town square. It is this notion of history that has welcomed people and encouraged them to spend time there. Today, these vast structures are capable of not only inviting masses of people in and then showing them new destinations suitable for modern-day living, but of instilling a new feeling of belonging. Some ideas for renovating mall spaces include mega-church venues, live theatres, athletic clubs, urgent-care based clinics and even popular cosmetic spas. Critics of the traditional shopping mall are all but in agreement that the changes happening are positive. Mall real estate is evolving, not becoming obsolete. See the new Westfield Properties for instance, helmed by the Lowy Family.

It’s no question that in order for shopping malls to stick around, renovations need to include dynamic spaces that can easily transition from season to season and year to year. Food and entertainment options are always evolving with technology, therefore the venues serving the public should be too. Retail is about profit margins and foot-traffic. When there are attractive reasons to gather on holiday’s and just everyday occasions, the dollars will follow, and so will the fond memories.