THE INVASION OF THE BIG BRANDS.
The recent opening of yet another commercial center in my neighborhood in Madrid (we have already 5 centers in an area of 20 miles), has put myself with some big doubts about, 'how' somebody can still invest his money into above.
Mainly, all centers are the same and offer the same brands and stores. The latest new one, probably is more clean, attractive, new,..and the oldest one, probably out of fashion and almost death,...but they just really offer the same brands. So, if you have you seen one, you have seen them all.
It is has been proven, that due to the tremendous expansion of shopping malls, each mall has become a more local center, where the local people of a particular area, visit and buy. (before, when there only existed one shopping mall, it was considered an event, something new and the whole town, came to visit the mall, creating lots of crowds and sales.)
Analyzing the evolution and boom of the shopping malls around the globe (even in Asia), we can see a similar way of first very 'success stories' and than in line tremendous 'decline stories' repeating every where. Probably, retail investors, only have eye on the increasing emerging markets and the interesting, exiting and rewarding retail projects, some clever promotors are offering, ignoring the need for more professional management and real knowledge of how to manage a good shopping mall.
The last years, the high inflation, the world wide economical crisis (mainly Europe and USA), the failing consumer spending and low and cautious investment climate, has turned up the whole way and form, how it has to go on,...from now off on.
The failure, to have been opening shopping malls on each corner, offering the same product groups and brands, combined with the above mentioned difficult economical situation, has created a big problem and a boring shopping mall effect. 'IF YOU HAVE SEEN ONE, YOU HAVE SEEN THEM ALL'
One of the major problems, we can see, is the right product mix, used in above shopping malls. Frequently the mall management, prefers to stick to big brands, renting big retail spaces at very interesting rental prices (most of the time at rental prices much lower than the more local and smaller retail operator, forcing them to move out of the shopping center into nearby cheaper industrial areas) using them as a form of getting traffic into the shopping mall. At the end, the mall consist out of the typical major retailers, dominating the center.
Could sounds logical, however...the risk of above decision, merely thinking financially, focusing on above, could create an revers effect. (less visitors as mall is boring and has a lack of innovation and new retail offer)
Today, everybody (brands, stores and also shopping malls) has to be different, innovative and be able to surprise their clients permanently. So there is need for a lot imagination, different retail concepts and wide interesting permanent innovative product offer.
CONSUMERS WANT TO BE SURPRISED' and will move to the center, who is different.
Only by offering the right product and retail mix, creating also a favorable business climate for the small retail operators, you will maintain a interesting product offer and loyal mall visitor.
So, dear shopping mall managers,...try to mix and find the right product retail offer without ignoring the importance of the smaller retail operators. Don't forget to find the right F&B mix, as restaurants, theaters, etc and more convenient stores (postal office, banks, childcare service) will bring a permanent flew of visitors. Also big retail groups are failing and the impact on your shopping mall will be much bigger. Do not forget,...BEING DIFFERENT IS THE KEY TO YOUR SHOPPING MALL SUCCESS.