What is the Future of Retail? Strip Malls vs. Life Centers vs. Big Box Stores
As a commercial real estate developer who invests in high net-worth commercial properties–shopping malls and big-box stores, you may be wary of putting your investment dollars into anything that’s failing. And with good reason.
With many retail stores closing due to the competition of online eCommerce sales, some commercial real estate developers are dubious about the future of retail.
Have you wondered if commercial real estate investment will provide a good return on your money in the digital age?
I’m here to tell you the answer is yes. The reason: retail is changing.
In this post, you’ll learn how retail is shifting as we know it and the direction in which it’s going, and why it’s wise to invest in retail property.
The Future of Retail is Far From Finished
The future of brick-and-mortar store retail is far from over. Retail stores are finding new solutions to the old ways of selling by integrating digital and mobile technology into their store’s infrastructure and shopping experiences.
And they’re also thinking out-of-the-box in regard to offerings in consumer retail spaces.
Big-Box Stores Provide New Opportunities for Brand Building
Big-box stores are using eCommerce to their advantage. They’re making the shopping experience more beneficial to the customers in a variety of ways.
One example is by using digital tools to ship products to consumer’s homes. This way customers don’t have to bother lugging around shopping bags all day.
During the holiday season, retailers want to get customers in and out of stores as fast as possible and they’re rethinking customer engagement.
Stores like Walmart, Target and Kohl’s introduced mobile checkout options that enable staff to check out customers using their mobile devices. Apple has been doing this for some time.
Other changes include the use of digital wayfinding screens to help customers navigate through aisles and locate merchandise in a speedier fashion.
Customer Engagement Venues Are the Future of Retail
Another way stores are improving retail spaces is by including customer engagement venues.
These customer engagement spaces provide environments for consumers to gather with friends, re-establish values, and engage in new experiences as they interact with brands.
Retail transactions become an outgrowth of engagement and socialization. The primary focus will be for retailers to design platforms that facilitate and promote sales by identifying, understanding, and connecting with consumer shoppers.
Life Centers and Strip Malls
Strip malls are becoming a part of a trend called Life Centers, a shopping center that provides access to brands while also offering amenities for visitors and shoppers to experience.
Here, customers find dining experiences and national specialty retailers in an aesthetically pleasing environment that resembles a classic small town square.
Mega Retail Spaces: Destination Centers
A new trend in retail is destination centers. These colossal retail spaces are becoming the future of retail, offering venues to shop, dine, and play.
Destination centers feature theme parks, large movie theaters, art galleries, museums, concerts, food festivals, and indoor ski slope installations and more.
Destination centers have been popular outside of the U.S. in places such as Spain and Dubai. However, now they’re coming to America as American Dream Centers in New Jersey slated to open on October 2019.
Here are some of the New Jersey American Dream Center attractions:
- The second-largest indoor water park in the world housing 35 water slides
- 13 thrilling attractions including an indoor wave pool that measures 1.5 acres
- The biggest hygro-magnetic coaster
- 31 luxurious cabanas with stunning views overlooking Manhattan.
Other destination centers are in the planning stages. And there are many more predicted on the way.
Final Thoughts on the Future of Retail
As you can see, the future of retail is changing for the better. It’s reshaping itself to accommodate consumer buying behaviors. And the social experiences that consumers desire which offer better financial opportunities for investors.
MANSARD has helped match investors and buyers in the commercial real estate market for 18 years. Explore our website or request a consultation today.