Study: Malls Transforming To Engage Consumers

The Future of Shopping Centers, a study released by A.T. Kearney, asserts that malls are far from dead and have the potential of transforming to better satisfy consumers.

The report identifies key trends in retail real estate and how customer demographics and attitudes are changing 21st-century commerce, the company stated. It analyzes the global impact of e-commerce on physical retail and suggests several ways forward for retail real estate operators. The research underlying the report points to a shift from traditional shopping centers and malls to re-envisioned, multifaceted consumer engagement centers.

The report envisions a renaissance of physical retail in America as shopping centers respond to consumer shifts and technology. The study outlines and comments on several different models of how this may happen, from destination and value-based centers to innovation centers and “retaildential” space. New consumer engagement centers have begun to emerge in countries with limits placed on the ratio of retail space to people and where private vehicular travel is far less common than in the U.S.

“In the future, retail-based real estate will be environments where people gather to engage with friends, connect with like-minded shoppers, seek out unique experiences, reaffirm values and interactively relate to brands on a personal level,” said Michael Brown, A.T. Kearney partner and author of the study.