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It has been an incredible year for Retail in 2014… but as we move ahead, here are some of the identifying retail trends of 2015 .
Retail is all about experience
As the online and mobile shopping become more ubiquitous, the retail scene needs to move more towards giving its customers who come into their stores incredible retail experiences rather than your run of the mill customer service. Your customers are already in your store, there is a need to go above and beyond meeting their expectations or they could have easily done their shopping from the comfort of their own home and on their computers.
If you look at it from a mall perspective, the growth of privilege cards, buggy services and even premium car parks are designed to give customers a unique retail experience.
It will be a Retailers market
In Malaysia, as the number of malls increase I sincerely believe that the developers of shopping malls will start to feel the pinch in terms of attracting retailers to tenant their malls. Thus, if the new mall does not have an exciting concept behind it they will be forced to do the next logical thing, reduce the rental rate in order to pull in tenants however that is never a smart move nor one which will guarantee any success.
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Mixed developments will be the way forward
At present in the Malaysian context, what most mall developers have decided would be the best course of action would be to develop malls surrounded by a good mix of residences & office spaces and perhaps even a hotel above or next to the mall. This, they (i.e. shopping mall developers) believe will provide the mall with an all ready shopper base which would then make it easier for them to attract potential tenants to take up the retail spaces in the mall. Another step which most developers are taking to bring shoppers to their malls are to integrate with transportation hubs such as in the case of Paradigm mall in Petaling Jaya providing a bus shuttle service to the airport.
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Food and Beverage outlets to be a driver of traffic to malls
Food and Beverage outlets can really be a big driver for traffic into a mall. Currently, most malls feature about 20% of their tenants as food and beverage outlets but I believe that moving forward this number will increase to about 40%. Shopping mall developers should ensure that their malls are tenanted with a good mix of food & beverage outlets featuring cuisines both of local and international flavors.
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Merging of the online with the in mall experiences
With the speed at which we “social media” everything, it is important to start creating Instagram or Facebook worthy moments in your mall or retail spaces. Examples could include a great window display at your outlet or even an incredible display at the public space in the mall. A great example of this is Pavilion shopping mall’s yearly Christmas decorations which truly stand out and will create a rush of visitors for the mall and ultimately sales for the retailers. In fact, it would also be possible for retailers to curate their online assets such as Facebook pages or Instagram to create promotions which would entice shoppers to visit their store or in store only promotions to drive shoppers to their stores.
So there you have it, the top 5 retail trends to 2015 which I believe all retailers and shopping mall owners should take note of for the year ahead. Wishing all of you reading this post a truly Happy New Year!
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