Are Shopping Malls Losing their Appeal?
Recent trends, according to new Wharton research, show that consumers are relatively uninspired by the lack of originality that seem to encompass malls these days. In their fifth annual survey of consumer dissatisfaction, Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Intiative and the Verde Group, a research consultancy specializing in customer retention, found that 80% of mall shoppers had at least one problem during a trip to the mall in the prior month. Similar earlier research show that dissatisfaction continues to decrease.
Two repeating complaints include the lack of anything new or exciting in malls, and a limited selection of restaurants. These complaints were cited by 35% of those surveyed. 28% of those surveyed, indicated a third complaint was that too many mall stores carried very similar merchandise.
The report indicates that consumers feel like malls “no longer have a sense of discovery” and that “nothing catches the eye” anymore.
Hoch optimistically predicts that as much as 10% of the nation’s retail infrastructure could disappear by the time the current recession comes to a halt and that the dissatisfaction evident in customer mall surveys will be abandoned altogether in a pending retail shakeout.
In light of shoppers’ dissatisfaction with the sameness of shopping malls, Hoch suggests that “people are complaining about the same-old, sameold” and that emphasized that malls need to figure out what to do and be concerned because if this dissatisfaction continues, we are going to have more mall properties abandoned.