One day, we’ll be happy to return to shopping malls

Published on 18/11/19

It’s estimated that in the United States in the last 5 years, shopping malls have seen a drop in visitor rates of over 50%. This trend is confirmed in Europe with an 11% downturn in retail property development between 2017 and 2018. Worrying? Yes, but with each salutary crisis is an opportunity to reinvent. That’s the case with the serious new trend: retailtainment.

A 37 metre aquarium.

The image is famous and a trend icon: for the giant aquarium alone, the Dubai mall attracts 10 million visitors per year…no doubt drawing shoppers from the city centre. It’s not surprising then that these initiatives are developing all over the Emirates, the USA, China and in Europe where there is a growing trend for big property developments.


The aim: Bring people (back).

The aim is clear: become “the place to be” once more and make people want to come. To make this happen, investors are leaning towards the experiential. Indoor funfairs inspired by Spirou in Belgium, Kid’s City in France, and even Cirque du Soleil in Canada, as well as show venues and ice-rinks…the initiatives are as diverse as they are varied but they all have one thing in common: nearly 50% of the total surface area is allocated to fun, to amusement and to social media thanks to the spaces and decor that has been specially conceived for selfies. There’s lots to come for…and to come back for.


E-commerce’s new ally.

These new spaces could become the relay point for the pure players. We could just see the DNVB (Digital Native Vertical Brands), who have built their reputations on-line, finding a way to consolidate their brand image. By offering people the chance to test and even live their brand experience in real life…and release the brakes that halt online purchases. Shopping malls definitely have some good days ahead.

Photo Credits : Dubai mall, Spirou