Fil Albuquerque wrote:
My advice to the retailers is to offer coffee, food, cinema, and entertainment for free if they want people to move their arses physically into the shops. They could even offer swag with symbolic branding meaning, status symbol the sort of the likes Apple does. To the point, they need to sell an experience along with their products.
When you get to the store you buy a ticket for a small fee that grants you access to all the entertainment going on inside, music events, theatre, etc...if you buy something up from a certain amount you get the discount on the entry fee. The store is a side event that makes money, the entertainment the main show that brings clients.
PS - Why doesn't anyone pay me for having these ideas? Pff!...
I'm not sure why retailers want to spend even more money to get people to physically come into their stores, when people buying online is cheaper for them.
And what kind of "events and entertainment" are happening inside? Cinema? That one really got my head scratching. Why would anything but the biggest of stores give up a thousand square feet or more of retail space? What about a small shop that's only 1 to 2 thousand square feet in total?
You want to give beverages and food to people so they can spill them all over your merchandise? Especially clothes? Oh, they eat and drink in a separate area? Isn't that like the cafe that a lot of stores have anyway? Think Barnes and Noble, Nordstroms, Whole Foods, IKEA etc. Most grocery stores nowadays contain banks, pharmacies, cafes, and some also have dry cleaners, hair stylists...the list can go on. The thing is, these extra shops are independant from the main purpose of the store.
In fact, the big selling point is that you gotta go buy food, it takes time out of your day. Putting these other vendors in place saves people time, gas, etc.
If small business did that, there would be a problem with them concentrating on what they are. Are we a restaurant, or do we sell bath products, clothes, electronics? Are we a Dave and Busters or a book store? There's a danger that in trying to be all things to all people, you become nothing to anyone.
I'm not sure if trying to save the concept of these huge malls is worthwhile today. Back in the day, in the 70's and 80's large malls as we think of them today were new and exciting. It was a new concept. Now, they are more and more rapidly becoming a relic of that time.
If jobs could be maintained in another area with the elimination of expensive leases it would be beneficial to both the business and the consumer.
If you go into a mall and buy a pair of shoes, how much of that cost is going to pay the rent? Sure, the cost to the consumer might end up being similar, but the money and benefits for employees could go up because they don't have to sacrifice their pay to the cost of the retail space.
I'm 60 and I have no fear of this retail apocalypse. Better things would replace them. It's already happening.
What is worse for the environment? 200 hundred cars driving to the mall, and back home, with only 50 people (if that) even buying stuff, or one fedex truck driving to each of these locations and delivering?
I reluctantly had to go to a mall the other day, because Apple Store. Long story but I ended up having to go back a 2nd time.
The 2 times I had to wait maybe a half hour sitting in the mall proper. Now this was a nice mall. Christ, how depressing. Most people just walking around like zombies. Barely anyone had any bags from purchases in their hands. I watched people with muffin tops and guts spilling over ill fitting jeans and t-shirts, sucking soda from cups and looking with glazed eyes at stuff in wondows there was no way they were going to buy. It was like they couldn't think of anything else to do with their time.
These malls could service so many other purposes. As I mentioned above, one in my city became a campus of a community college.
They could be converted into residences, offices, much more. Here's an interesting link.
They are already located in locations that are easily accessible to people, and could potentially bring in so much more money, as well as still provide jobs and other opportunities.
Back in 1999, Robert Mueller Airport, which was just outside of downtown Austin, was permanently closed, the airport moving out East of the city. It was completely torn down.
Now, 20 years later....
"The 700-acre Mueller site, vacated when Austin's airport relocated in 1999, is well on its way to becoming home to approximately 14,300 people, 14,500 employees, 10,500 construction jobs, 4 million square feet of office and retail, more than 6,200 homes and 140 acres of public open space. Mueller is an award-winning master planned and designed community, and in accordance with new urbanist principles."
It's a wonderful space. There's also a medical center, public pool, a school is in the works and more. It's really like a little town with everything you need in a manageable space.
Personally, I can envision a lot better things than a JCPenny and kiosks hawking cell phone cases and chair massages.