Omnichannel Retailing and the American Shopping Mall
Orange Julius. L.S. Ayres. Walden Books.
Who doesn’t love malls?
For retailers, there is definitely no love lost.
The Wall Street Journal reports that retailers are moving their brick-and-mortar stores from midmarket malls to luxury shopping plazas while simultaneously investing more in eCommerce.
“Retailers from Gap Inc. to Abercrombie & Fitch Inc. are abandoning a decades-old strategy of growing sales by blanketing cities with stores as consumers do more of their shopping online and less at the mall,” writes Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Kapner in an April 20th article.
We don’t find that too surprising considering B2C eCommerce sales will make up 12.4 percent of total retail sales worldwide by 2019.
While retailers continue to invest in eCommerce, they still understand the value of physical stores and that bridging the in-store and online experience is a serious driver of business. They also recognize that to achieve this, transferring the premium online experience to their retail locations is key.
“Once-solid regional ‘B’ malls that thrived for years are losing shoppers and tenants to the ‘A’ malls—those with sales per square foot in excess of $500, according to Green Street Advisors,” Kapner reports.
That premium brand experience extends beyond the retailer itself, too.
“Many of the top malls are attracting higher end tenants and leasing space to upscale restaurants and gyms, or hosting events. As a result, shoppers are more apt to bypass smaller, local malls that tend to stock basic items more easily purchased online,” Kapner explains.
As shopper tastes continue to evolve, what’s becoming clear is their desire for a comprehensive, 360-degree premium shopping experience no matter where they happen to be.
What does this mean for today’s omnichannel retailing?
It means that brands will need to evolve and understand how to drive engagement, service, and value in physical stores alongside the growth of their eCommerce operations.
Brooke Seldin is a marketing content specialist in LYONSCG’s Chicago office. She is a writer, an editor, and a content strategist who specializes in eCommerce, technology, and digital marketing for B2C and B2B organizations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.