Nowadays Shopping Malls are much more than a set of stores arranged in the same place. They are essential parts of cities, the foundation of retail economies, and a social gathering point. In last decades, the concept of shopping mall, which became a full-blown modern retail trend, has proliferated across the globe. The traditional concept of Mall is undergoing great change. Several global trends are coming together at the same time to cause malls to change the role they play in people’s lives. No longer are they primarily about shopping “only”. Now, when consumers visit malls, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond standard shopping. The trends helping to create this change include changing demographics, such as an aging population and increased urbanization, which means more people living in smaller spaces and greater need for public spaces in which to socialize and congregate. In this environment, malls are very welcome, especially in cities where other public spaces are not safe. The rush of modern life is causing some customers to prefer mixed spaces where they can live, shop, eat and work all within a walking distance from home – instead of having to get into a car and drive to a far and crowded mall. The growing middle classes maintain a strong association between consumption and pleasure, driving the need for more engaging shopping experiences. And finally, the e-commerce revolution and the rise of digital technologies are fundamentally reshaping consumer expectations and shifting the function of stores toward useful and entertaining customer experiences. These trends advance quickly and are forcing mall operators to rethink how they conceive and operate their properties.
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