Shopping Malls Go Experiential

As a reaction to dwindling retail sales in older shopping malls, they are being reinvented as experience destinations. Instead of small shops, it is now restaurants and theaters that move into those consumer temples.

To us, the very recent news that a Burger King location in Helsinki/Finland has opened a spa complete with saunas and steam rooms is yet another sign that the physical world of retail is smack bang in a process of reinvention. It is moving away from a very linear way of doing commerce and focussing on creating outstanding experiences (that can’t be copied in online retail, one should add). 

Now we came across this article on businessoffashion.com (hat tip to JWT Intelligence) that examines the growing trend of turning vacant shopping malls into experience destinations. Increasingly, malls across the US and elsewhere are looking to expand beyond traditional retail outlets. To quote from the article:

“Shopping centers and the physical retail experience is becoming much more experiential,” said Tom McGee, president and chief executive officer of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “People want to have experiences when they go out. They want to experience restaurants. They want movie theaters. They want that kind of all-in aspect. They want the aesthetics and the look to be something that is engaging and appealing to them.”

Just another sign how much consumers crave experiences.