The Future of Retail & Malls | Retail Is Detail
March 22, 2015 Bernard - Retail Is Detail

The Future of Retail & Malls

Looking ahead 25 years, the majority of the country’s spending power will rest in the hands of millennials.

“Retail has to evolve on a regular basis or it faces extinction. It’s just the way it is,” said Dan Hurwitz, CEO of open-air shopping center owner DDR. “While the challenges may be different, the need to evolve … is just as important today as it’s ever been, if not more so.”

Just as the Great Depression shaped the spending habits of Americans who grew up during that era, experts predict members of this new-edition, penny-pinching generation will continue to be driven by deals.

Forget the fluorescent-lit indoor mall that’s been synonymous with shopping for years. The future of retail will look starkly different 25 years out.

Full-body scanners

Full-body scanners that take your measurements, and recommend the clothes that best fit your body. Seamless checkouts that can be done from inside the dressing room or on your mobile phone, eliminating the need to wait in line. Innovations like these are already threatening to become mainstream. And, as consumers shift a larger chunk of their spending toward the Web—where they’re offered a seemingly endless pipeline of products—experts say bricks-and-mortar locations need to undergo a complete makeover to stay relevant in future decades.

That means a different tenant mix, smaller selling floors, and technologies and experiences that give shoppers a reason to leave their couches and hit the aisles.

The significant shift that lies ahead for the industry is already underway. As ubiquitous mall tenants from to RadioShack, Shutter stores and consumers shop more online, experts agree there will likely be fewer malls by 2039.

Fun, Food, Fashion and Convenience

Where visiting a department store we now demand sushi, pad-thai or Vietnamese spring rolls from international food courts. We want to get our car washed, watch a movie, do our groceries and buy a handbag. We want entertainment, one-stop shopping and the biggest range of choice. Something department stores cannot offer today. We’ve said it before in a previous post it’s all about Fun, Food, Fashion and convenience. Mall owners and asset managers must re-think their attitude toward commercial real estate going from asset value to asset usage.

The size of individual stores is also a question mark, though experts say selling space will mostly shrink. That’s because improved shipping capabilities will lessen the need to keep multiple versions of the same item stocked on the floor.

Sources: Welcome to the mall of 2039: It’s nothing like today & The Conversation

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