Shopping Malls - US - March 2013
“The market for malls and mall retailers is one that has seen stagnation and decline over the last decade and can expect to see these trends continue as the current oversupply of mall retail space in the U.S. shrinks to meet actual demand. Malls are no longer attractive places for Americans to shop, owing largely to the desire to avoid crowds, the expansion of mass merchandisers and online retailers, and a perception that items for sale in malls are more expensive than similar items available in other venues. Opportunities to optimize existing mall spaces may be found in catering in particular to the tastes and interests of Hispanic and Asian consumers who demonstrate a higher-than-average inclination to visit malls and have a particularly high affinity for dining, entertainment, and services provided by malls. Making malls a more desirable place to spend time will help to win back these and other loyal consumers to the channel.”
– Ali Lipson, Retail Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can malls demonstrate that they offer unique products that compel users to make an extra stop on their shopping trips?
- Are there opportunities to drive greater mall traffic among Asian and Hispanic consumers?
- Can dying malls be revived by shifting the focus away from retail?
Significant growth in online shopping and the deal-finding behavior that comes with it over the last five years has created a challenging environment for malls. In this new era of shopping, physical stores are less relevant for many categories, and malls and mall retailers are struggling to beat year-over-year sales trends and keep traffic levels up. Innovations from smaller operators offer hope for the future of mall retailing.
To understand where growth is most likely to be found, this report explores the primary reasons why shoppers continue to shop at malls and the factors that drive consumers to avoid malls. New insights about how malls can compete in the future stem from two key observations: Hispanic and Asian shoppers are mall-loving groups that are largely underserved by existing malls, yet are the heaviest users of malls in the first place. Roughly half of all consumers agree that items for sale in malls are very similar to items for sale in stand-alone retailers.
For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:
Shopping Malls are defined as one or more buildings forming a complex of stores, foodservice locations, and other businesses (such as movie theaters, salons/day spas, fitness centers, etc.) with connecting walkways enabling visitors to walk from unit to unit. This includes both indoor and outdoor shopping malls and includes those with parking areas and without parking areas.
This report focuses on traditional Shopping Malls only. Outlet Malls (malls where a majority of retailers are outlet or discount stores) and Strip Malls (also known as Strip Centers, outdoor areas where several retail outlets exist side by side, often adjacent to one another, generally with a parking lot) may be mentioned, but are excluded from Mintel’s definition of shopping malls.
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