Are malls really going away?
Are consumers giving malls a break or are they really dying? Since online shopping, brick and mortar stores have been going down in sales and even though many continue to hold a steady business, there are many going out of business. At first sight, it seems obvious but being in this business has sparked a curiosity to figure out where and how shopping is really transforming. How will shopping be in the future? Will ecommerce take over entirely or will consumers realize brick and mortar stores are still needed?
I currently work as an assistant buyer for women’s shoes so it’s part of my job is to know how, where, and why a consumer shops. Lately, this seems to the topic of most conversations due to the constant decrease in brick and mortar stores. And although in store sales may drop, businesses are making up for their profit through online purchases. So why is there a number of stores closing, going out of business, and filing for bankruptcy? It seems to be that even stores that were so strong and profitable just a couple of years ago keep making “sales drop” headlines.
Local shopping first became huge when people started caring more about what they were eating, now they care about helping the community, locals artists, and even their known ones. Take me for example, this weekend I went shopping to the Pineapple Triangle, a local flea event where they have live music, food, and the most unique and finds. I was amazed by so much creativity, customizable products, and genuine care of each business owner. So is it that? Are people just over the mainstream stores where everyone can buy the same merchandise or is it really about helping their local community? I decided to look further into this, talked to a few vendors, buyers, and consumers and here’s my theory…
Stores that are mostly in malls seem to be hit the hardest, hence department stores. Malls are no longer what they used to be. Shoppers are looking to spend their money on experiences as oppose to goods. Simple as that. Remember the time where malls were more than just a place where you went shopping? Malls were a hangout spot for young teens and families. You’d spent the whole day there, shopping, eating, going to the movies, or just meeting up with friends. Now, people are looking to spend their days off in a whole new way. Restaurants have increased significantly due to its high demand, and travel is everyone’s first choice after a bonus or extra income comes your way. Am I right?
How adorable are these pieces from Lotus Girl? Direct link here to see more of her minimalist gold and mixed metal creations.
People are choosing experience over goods, and in this day in age, I’d say it’s exactly what a millennial’s mentality is all about. Think about it. This whole “YOLO” and “FOMO” is basically defining the decade so it makes sense many consumers are choosing to spend their money on a music festival over those new studded Valentino stilettos.
Quick note: This skirt got tons of compliments go here to purchase. I topped it with a knitted halter top here and a pastel bralette to keep form oversharing 😉 Oh and btw these strap sandals I’ve been wearing over and over again finally up to purchase online. Direct link here.
Now the real question lies in the timeline of this lifestyle. Is this a façade we’re all going through? Or will our desire to experience life to the fullest continue and destroy the retail market? As a lover of physical shopping I can’t help but fear them coming to an end, but at the same time I myself am guilty of it. Who’s to say some people aren’t already pushing to end malls and use the space for local markets or concert venues? All I can say as a professional whose careers lies in the world of retail we must be prepared as we transition into a whole new way of shopping. After all, change is good right? What do you think? How do you see yourself shopping in the future? I’d love to get more feedback and continue discovering people’s way of living and ideals.