After location, trade and tenant mix is often cited as the most important element affecting the success of a shopping mall.
Similar store types are generally located in similar areas in order to improve convenience for shoppers and promote comparison shopping.
However, in a world where the online offering delivers both convenience and very effective comparison of goods, shoppers visiting malls these days are arguably being more driven by the need for discovery, experience and entertainment and the trade and tenant mix should evolve to reflect this.
Perhaps malls could move to mirror the high street more, disbursing F&B and accepting much more flexible adjacencies and a muchmore diverse and dynamic tenant mix, promoting surprise and randomness. Without having to act so rigidly within the constraints of a perceived ‘optimal trade mix’, landlords would also be freer to offer units to the highest bidder, boosting revenues.
While the idea might be less applicable to luxury retailers, who will always want to cluster, and major anchors, other tenants may welcome the greater choice. For shoppers, a less formal mix of retailers would enliven the mall experience and potentially boost linger times and spend.
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