A shopping center industry survey suggests that if such facilities want to remain competitive, they should add more eating and drinking establishments, as well as expanded entertainment space.
The survey of more than 1,000 people was conducted by the New York-based International Council of Shopping Centers and indicates that consumers, while loyal to the shopping center concept, nevertheless have strong opinions on how such retail spaces should be improved.
Entitled the ICSC 2018 Mall Survey, the questionnaire also reveals that, despite media reports that the era of the shopping center may be drawing to a close, some 82 percent of respondents said they believed that such centers will continue to thrive for at least the next decade.
At the same time, 46 percent of those same respondents said they expected to see changes in the typical shopping center format in the years ahead, with enhancement projects designed to “improve the overall shopping experience.”
The survey also showed that 70 percent of respondents said shopping center owners and managers should focus more on “creating engaging experiences for consumers that combine shopping with entertainment and other services/activities.”
To that end, respondents said they would like to see an increased emphasis on dining and drinking establishments, as well as both breweries and food halls.
In a statement, Tom McGee, the president of the International Council of Shopping Centers, asserted that the survey shows the “narrative around the death of the mall is a myth.”
But McGee added that shopping centers are in the throes of change: “They will look different in the future,” he said, “which is positive for communities across the country.”
By Garry Boulard
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