Nowadays, there are more and more shopping malls and shopping centers built in the city in order to attract more customers as one combined shopping destination. Therefore, it becomes very competitive among different shopping centers. Retailers and developers need to find new strategies to compete with others that are “adaptive renewal.” Methods of adjustment include renovation, reimaging, or even breaking up older malls into freestanding or other configurations. Specific adaptive renewal strategies are Town Center Development, Lifestyle Center Growth, Demalling, Expansion, and Spatial Reconfiguration.

Town Center Development is a strategy of renovation. It needs to renovate the old malls to open-air shopping centers as town centers, which has a specific theme design. Complexity and unity of stores are major characteristics of a town center. Different brands of retail stores have to match the theme of town center by their building materials. It is the atmosphere and feeling that attracts visitors to a town center.

Lifestyle Center Growth is a strategy of categorization. A lifestyle center categorizes retail stores by certain lifestyle. The retail stores locate in the lifestyle center all tend to attract active, young, affluent families.

Demalling is the breaking up strategy that might be used for the old dying mall that has no longer attract enough consumers. Rather than a strategy, demalling is a solution to help these malls back to life. The new center would have a great mix of retail space, office, apartment, parks, and open space. Developers become town planners. By doing so, the new “town” would once again have a good use.

Expansion is the opposite strategy of demalling. Just because of how well the current shopping is operating, it needs more space to grow. Floor levels, shopping areas, and/or parking lot will be added to increase its capacity.

Last but not least, Spatial Reconfiguration is a customer-driven strategy that developers adjust in the mall’s layout to meet customer expectations and needs. For example, outdoor area is moved inside and a newly built ice skating section attached to the old mall.

It is crucial to know the strategies/solutions above for developers and mall owners because of the competitive market and the similar target consumers in a city.

External Sources:

The Future of Shopping – This is an interesting news from CNBC released early in 2014. Yet, the technology mentioned in the news still seems cool to me. I wonder if the new technology a shopping mall provides would actually invites and attracts more customers.