We’ve all read the poor marketing story about malls. The prediction by Credit Suisse is that 25% of all malls will close by 2022.
Against this somber background, the massive American Dream mall opened in New Jersey. It has 3 million square feet of lease space, a 16-story indoor ski slope, a roller coaster, a water park and 450 retail, food and specialty shops.
While I was recently walking around Vegas, I noticed the major malls inside casinos and the enormous Las Vegas Fashion Mall were vibrant, active and full of retailers. What’s going on? I thought malls were dying at a 25% rate. Well, only the ones that have missed a key ingredient of marketing: the experience.
If you’re just erecting a large building with stores, you will fail. That is the internet. If you are building a destination, a lifestyle, an experience — that is a successful mall. In Vegas, music is pumped in loud throughout the mall, not just in stores. That alone says this is a different kind of experience. Other malls have developed street scenes with fountains and entertainment throughout. Retailers and restaurants have been required to develop facades that are inviting and total eye candy.
Turn up the experience and turn around the trend. Build an experience, and they will come.