Running head: CAN THE MAGIC BE RESTORED? Suburban Regional Shopping Malls: Can the Magic Be Restored? Stephanie Austin Upper Iowa University Suburban Regional Shopping Malls: Can the Magic Be Restored? Imagine yourself as the manager of a struggling local suburban regional shopping mall. What do you think the mall should do to improve its performance? According to the textbook, the retail life cycle consists of the introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. (Perreault, Jr. Cannon, & McCarthy, 2011) To keep a local suburban regional shopping mall from reaching its decline, one must spend time and money during the maturity phase to keep with today’s trends. If a mall is declining, a manager must get more department or anchor stores to draw in business. Fill other spaces with specialty stores, offering products that consumers can’t get anywhere else. Another option for managers is to find a niche in the community that will draw consumers in. A suggestion that was used in the book was to add entertainment to the center of the mall.
The entertainment can be anything from holiday shows, occasional concerts, a playground for kids, or even just an open area with comfortable resting spots where customers can relax and de-stress. A perfect type of idea would be a small coffee house type of area that serves coffee and soda with a waitresses on staff to cater to each patron’s needs. Especially during the holiday season, this would be a great relaxing way for customers to rest their feet and collect their thoughts before heading to the next store on the list. Another change that would need to be made is changing store configurations, referred to as zonal merchandising.
This is where you group together stores that serve the same basic need and draw the same basic shoppers. This will help those shoppers that come to the mall to purchase a specific product. They then will see the other stores that sell similar products to what they are looking for and possibly stroll on into a new store. The most common use of zonal merchandizing has been used in food courts, which has been proven effective. “… several new [building] projects have incorporated zonal merchandising principles, including Rivertown Crossings in Grand Rapids, Mighigan, which… rouped some categories of stores by product line carried, and Park Meadows in Denver, Colorado… has grouped stores by customer lifestyle. Attempts to reconfigure existing centers around zonal merchandising ideas, such as the changes at Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, seem to be successful as well. ” (insert book authors) The last thing and possibly most important thing a manager should do is create a mall website that lists all the stores, any possible coupons, discounts, or specials that may be happening, as well as links to all the stores so a person can “window shop” before ever stepping foot into the mall.
One could even go as far as to offer discounts to those who shop online thru the mall website, therefore drawing traffic to the website. Through the mall website, a consumer may find a link to another store that he/she has heard of before and then can check out its merchandise. Possibly aiding that store in achieving another customer. What shopping trends do you foresee over the next 10 years? How might these trends affect suburban regional shopping malls?
Shopping trends over the next 10 years will include more technology with online shopping with tagging, kiosks for easy check-outs when a consumer does venture out, and apps that allow you to pay via smartphone. “This will also bring many benefits to life like automatic checkout, as you walk out, making cashiers less necessary in many categories. This means no more checkout lines and more service personnel to make your shopping experience a pleasure. This is already happening in Japan and other counties outside the US. ” (site article)
Shopping via tagging will be a new concept that will be a big hit. See a cute pair of shoes on the girl across the street? Consumer will point and say “tag it”. The smartphone will search the internet for that product and allow the consumer to see it and purchase that pair of shoes, right then and there. Everyone has been somewhere where they see something they like on someone, but are too afraid to ask the person where he/she got the item or even how much they paid for it. Experience Rethink author Brian Regienczuk has this to say, “As you move through your day, it will be asier to tag items you like and buy them immediately or add them to your shopping list. For example, a purse or pair of shoes on a passerby catches your eye. You say “tag item” as you look at the item and immediately receive confirmation that the item has been identified. Buy it now or add it to a list for later. ” (Year of article) These trends will affect suburban regional shopping malls negatively at first, but as time goes by, consumers will still be drawn to the feeling and concept of strolling through malls, talking with their friends, and paroozing in and out of stores.
Things that will be lost with the online shopping world. What new retail concepts can you identify? How might you learn about more? To learn about more, a mall manager could tour and visit other malls with similar demographics. What strategies do you suggest for learning about new retail concepts? To learn more about retail concepts, a company could hire a marketing firm and a technology firm to identify up and coming trends in the new markets. Certain firms specialize in this area.
References Heller, L. (2011, April 20). The Future of Online Shopping: 10 Trends to Watch. Retrieved from www. Forbes. com: http://www. forbes. com/sites/lauraheller/2011/04/20/the-future-of-online-shopping-10-trends-to-watch/ Perreault, Jr. , W. D. , Cannon, J. P. , & McCarthy, E. J. (2011). Basic Marketing: A Marketing Stragety Planning Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin Company. http://experiencerethink. wordpress. com/2010/09/23/the-future-of-shopping-2020/