Shopping Centers or Social Hubs?

Shopping center’s are no longer what the used to be. Nowadays, customers are looking for more than just retail offerings; they want interesting ways to spend their free time. Gradually, shopping centers are becoming social hubs where shopping is one of the many activities on offer. According to a report by Savills, a wide range of entertainment and good restaurants are now more important than the shops they offer. In line with these modernisations, shopping centers are going all out to attract as many clients as possible:

The first example is the intu shopping center in Costa Del Sol – attractions include open-air skiing, a theme park and an aquarium, along with a hotel, conference centre and wildly creative retail units. Intu is setting out to redefine the model of shopping centers.

Area 12 shopping center is linked to the Juventus stadium in Turin where you can go shopping or have a nice meal before you go see a football match. There is also a museum which is a big attraction where visitors can experience the history of the club.

Most people have probably heard about The Mall of the Emirates, which in addition to the 450 stores, the center contains an indoor ski park, rides, games, a theatre and an art gallery. Definitely more activities than one could cover in a single visit.

In Istanbul, you can visit the largest shopping mall in Europe; Istanbul Cevahir. This mall boasts a huge glass roof and one of the largest clocks in the world and of course, a variety of retail stores. If that isn’t enough, the mall has 12 cinemas, a roller coaster and many other attractions for those who prefer to take a break from shopping.

Although all these examples are quite extreme, they have become role models for new shopping centers; each trying to be better than the last in order to increase footfall and dwell-time.

In recent years, the developments across popular shopping center chains; fitness clubs; the trend of healthy eating; smartphones and the growing popularity of social media and online shopping have all affected the way we shop and what we expect from modern malls. Thus, the commercial industry has had to find new ways of meeting the modern consumers’ needs and expectations –ultimatlely, explaining how shopping centers have come to be social hubs.

Alizee Popow, International Consultant, Foundation Recruitment

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