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Expanding The Retail Experience

April 17, 2017

As shoppers are turning to online retailers for more of their everyday needs, retailers are getting creative in their bids to attract consumers. Using their common areas, parking lots and even available footprints, shopping malls are now offering out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Community events, such as concerts, carnivals, expos and food truck festivals can’t be matched in an online shopping environment, so they provide an advantage to brick-and-mortar stores in any location. These events encourage area shoppers to take a fresh look at their local mall and – hopefully – translate to increased sales.

With closings on the rise, including KMart, Sears, JC Penney, Macy’s and now Bebe, mall owners are working to offset the trend, slow the decline of rents and recapture volume from online giants like Amazon. Restaurants, theaters and play areas for children are already in the mix at most malls, so the step into experiential marketing seems a logical evolution in the effort to drive traffic.

One new tactic is the existence of pop-up shops – a retail option with a here today, gone tomorrow shopping lifespan – which drive urgency amongst consumers and can boost overall mall traffic as a result. Often these pop-ups correspond with holiday needs, like the existence of costume shops in October, but other concepts could promote movie openings, limited capsule collections, or special retail partnerships.

Other options leverage available parking lot space for movie nights or festivals, some of them generating upwards of $50k a week for mall owners. Facility management is able to rent the outdoor space with leases that are structured to allow for a base rent fee, plus a percentage payment when the event attendance meets a set threshold. Not only do these events bring in people who plan to attend, they attract the attention of passersby as well as the press.

If you want to learn more about the opportunities to capitalize on available open space, reach out to the team at Intelica Commercial Real Estate. We can help you evaluate your options and connect you with the right team to execute an event that expands the retail experience.