Survey: Mall as “Destination” Keeps Tenants in Business

Survey: Mall as “Destination” Keeps Tenants in Business

Despite widespread speculation that the American mall concept is dead thanks to so-called “e-tailing,” activities other than shopping have been breathing life into centers across the country, according to a new national survey from Glimcher Realty Trust. Glimcher noted that the survey reveals that e-tailing helps, but doesn’t overshadow, brick-and-mortar tenants.

It turns out that many customers use Web sites to research products, but end up buying items in person at malls. In fact, of daily social media users only 19 percent prefer to shop exclusively online. Glimcher credits the success of malls that are still thriving to the “enhanced shopping experience” they provide. In other words, customers visit centers for more than just retail, with some tenants even offering activities like yoga or cooking demonstrations. 

While the survey shows that online shopping continues to grow, it can’t compete with malls, which are still preferred because of “their ability to offer a tactile experience in a social context.” A significant number of survey participants reported being willing to drive up to 30 minutes to get to a mall for that experience.

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