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The Evolution of Shopping Centers in Today’s Retail Climate



Shopping Centers - Milbrook Properties - PA, MD, NY, FL, NJ, DE

In 1956, the first contemporary indoor mall in the country opened. Expanding upon the popular single-level outdoor shopping mall design of the day, Edina, Minnesota’s Southdale Center, was the first of its kind. The new two-story commercial real estate design was quite different from strip malls and had lots of parking, controlled temperatures, escalators, and a spacious atrium with a skylight. This kind of facility soon became popular because customers came to adore its atmosphere and the environment. This is how the modern shopping mall got its start.


Malls As Entertainment

One may assume that consumers avoid shopping malls because they prefer to browse a website at home while sipping tea. We might imagine Gen Z shoppers (born between 1995 and 2009) would find it quite difficult to persuade them to put down their phones and visit a shopping center because they are “digital natives.”


However, studies have revealed that 75% of Gen Z consumers worldwide believe buying in physical stores is preferable to doing business online. Physical retail establishments actually offer a refreshing diversion from screen time. Moreover, Gen Z craves the experiential and social aspects of in-person buying, which online retailers are unable to deliver.


Going Digital

Though futuristic concepts like eye scanners and magic mirrors may seem far-fetched, cutting-edge technological advancements are currently enhancing the shopping experience. Shopping centers are able to provide the social experience and one-on-one interaction that consumers want by substituting dynamic digital solutions for static signs.


Customers are utilizing technology to make shopping more memorable and easy. Examples include sharing photo booth selfies that appear on screens across the mall and using interactive screens to discover if their favorite item is in stock.


The Future

Malls are already introducing activities outside shopping, such as interactive art exhibitions, skating rinks, and climbing walls. These features encourage customers, especially the younger generation, to frequently visit and spend a good amount of time in retail centers.


So, what should we anticipate from malls in the future? Maybe we might take a cue from Westfield’s Destination 2028 Concept. The plan envisions future retail centers as “hyper-connected micro-cities” that skillfully combine shopping with exceptional experiences, leisure, and wellness.


With plans for recreational watersports and allotments that let patrons harvest their own produce directly from the ground, Westfield’s team of specialists has high hopes for malls of the future.


Shopping Centers In FL, DE, PA, MD, NJ, NY

Shopping centers have endured and remain a popular attraction for numerous customers. The convenience shopping malls provide is one key factor in their continued popularity.


Thanks to the large selection of services and shops under one roof, customers may find everything they need in one visit. Malls offer a one-stop, unforgettable shopping experience for food, gadgets, apparel, and entertainment. This convenience feature appeals most to time-pressed individuals and families who value having everything in one location. Contact the team at Milbrook Properties today to learn more!

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