Shopping malls are facing a sharp decline in the past few decades. These days, meeting friends and hanging out the mall is a fading concept. Add to that the flourishing online retail market, and one would understand why people believe that shopping malls are dying.
According to Damon Vickers, expert investor and New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Day After The Dollar Crashes’ the plunge of shopping malls can be attributed to changing consumer trends and demands.
Shifting tides as noted by Damon Vickers
“Gone are the days when shoppers would go to a mall and visit 20+ stores in a day,” says Damon Vickers. “Now, the shopping experience is very surgical—they go to two or three shops, get what they came for and go.”
It’s also known that there is a common expectation for modern malls to be a one-stop lifestyle shop. Now, the shopping experience involves entertainment, food and socialization events. “It’s more of building a community than anything,” adds Vickers. Gen Z’ers and Millennials seem to have shifted to experience-buying (i.e., leisure travel, adventure) rather than materialistic shopping.
As shopping malls fight to keep up with times, some department stores that used to be the main pastime for pre-internet consumers are now being shuttered or refurbished into a different establishment altogether.
Is it transforming to farmlands?
Talks of shopping malls being converted to farmlands are surprisingly alive today, and it just might be the start of a transformation that not many people expected.
“It might sound like a downgrade, but on the contrary, farmlands are seen as a growing demand today,” Damon Vickers suggests. Consumers are shifting to organic living, from environmentally friendly items to green concepts.
The need for sustainable agriculture has seen an expansion in the past few years, which also contributes to the transformation of dead shopping malls into a newfound purpose.
It’s not a popular concept yet, but one that might become a growing trend as more people adopt green living, which is reoriented into schools, offices, homes, and communities. People are investing in sustainable farming to meet the global demands for healthier, eco-friendly solutions.
Despite the strains of redevelopment or demolition, shopping malls are not dying, according to Vickers. Major shopping centers across the US and the world are still thriving, but they do have to keep reinventing their grounds to accommodate a shopper’s demand for better and more interactive retail and lifestyle spaces.