You may remember a time when the mall was the place to be on the weekend for everyone from bored teens to adults looking for a little retail therapy. But as internet shopping becomes easier and more popular, American malls are becoming something of a wasteland.
CBS News reports about the downfall of shopping malls and asks whether there is any hope for the survival of what once was a pretty bustling public space. Robin Lewis, author of “The New Rules of Retail”, describes the rise and fall of these shopping meccas. Somewhere around 1,500 malls were built between the years 1956 and 2005, but there haven’t been any new malls constructed since 2006.
Lewis explains how the rise of online shopping is to blame for the failure of malls saying, “All of a sudden, the consumer now has every single retail store throughout the world a key tap away.” But does this mean we will soon say goodbye to shopping malls forever?
According to successful Atlanta mall owner, Jose Legaspi, his business is alive and well and he owes it all to his ability to give the consumers what they can’t get online. Legaspi transformed a run-of-the-mill shopping mall into Plaza Fiesta which caters to a very large and growing Hispanic population. Legaspi’s shopping centes has 280 shops, but also includes some stops you wouldn’t normally expect to see in a mall like a doctor’s office, hair dressers, dentists, and money wiring services.
Legaspi explains how he also provides musical entertainment once a week for anyone looking to relax and hear some tunes. He very simply describes how others can take a cue from his success saying all they need is , “Experience. Entertainment. If we're going to drag them away from their smartphone and shopping on the Internet, you've got to give them a reason to spend the time to go and make the effort to go there. And the only way they're gonna do that is if there's a fun thing going on.”
Do you still shop at the mall?
Do you think shopping malls will survive the next decade?
Say it ain't so!! I mean, look at my screen name! :) I have so many happy memories about going to the mall with friends and also my mom (who has since passed away). My mom would take me to one of the anchor department stores and we would have lunch at the ladies' luncheon/tea room (which are gone as well). I still go to the mall, and seeing all the empty store fronts and the stores with few customers makes me sad. I still like to shop at stores where I can see and touch the merchandise. And I like to eat out at the mall. I think the most successful malls have events (like bringing in a high school or charity that stages an event to raise money and entertain), and have well known restaurants (Cheesecake Factory, Legal Sea Food) to bring in customers. I also really miss the bookstores that used to be at malls. As much as I use Amazon, sometimes I want to go out and buy the book the same day and not wait for it to be shipped.