Will malls ever come back?

So far this year, 4,432 stores have announced openings compared to 1,954 closures, resulting in a net of 2,478 openings. The following is an excerpt from his book. When I dedicated myself to this project, I knew that, born in 1973, I was part of the shopping mall generation, I grew up with the smell of those salty crackers, I could disconnect from the Muzak and find my car in a multi-level parking lot. As a design critic, as a child of the 1980s and as a person dedicated to the idea that architecture should serve everyone, the mall was my ideal subject.

Like design for children, the subject of my last book, the mall was omnipresent and under-examined, and potentially a little embarrassing as an object of serious study. Shopping, like children, was an after-work topic; and shopping centers, such as playgrounds, were places dominated by women and children. Go to Etsy and you'll find numerous unionic bumper stickers that say “A Woman's Place is in the Mall”. What I didn't know was that I had been working on the ground to create urban inventions, such as the festival market at Faneuil Hall in Boston, and that, even in my current neighborhood of Brooklyn, I was shopping on a pedestrian street that was one of the city's responses to the flight of white dollars to the suburbs.

Once I started to see shopping not as a distraction but as a way to shape cities, I saw their fingerprints everywhere. While the history of architecture tended to focus on suburban homes and the history of planning focused on highways, the mall fell into the cracks between the personal and the professional, as if we, as a culture, didn't want to recognize that we needed a closet, furniture and tools for both. A lot is happening in the world. Despite everything, Marketplace is here for you.

You rely on Marketplace to analyze world events and tell you how they affect you in an accessible, fact-based way. We rely on your financial support to continue making this possible. So what is the future of shopping malls? And if you're running a physical business, how can you adapt to changing consumer demands? Shopping online is easier than visiting a store, especially if you're looking for a hard-to-find item. Even if you can't determine the exact name and brand of the product you're looking for, it's usually easy to find similar products in online stores.

This often makes online shopping more profitable and easier than traditional in-store purchases. Add in the fact that you're not spending money on gas or risking your health by being in crowds, and online shopping becomes even more appealing. One of the reasons a shopper might prefer to visit a store in person is customer service, which is why many e-retailers have turned to live chats for their online stores. Representatives are online to interact with customers and answer questions about a particular product or other concerns without needing to be face-to-face.

Many online businesses also have FAQ pages where consumers can get quick answers to their general questions. Customer knowledge systems allow people to find exactly what they need without physical stores that have successfully survived the switch to e-commerce doing so by adapting. Instead of resisting this change, these companies found ways to integrate their online and offline stores and create a seamless experience for shoppers. Let's look at some strategies for adopting e-commerce in your business.

You'll want to develop an e-commerce brand that complements your existing brand and sets you apart from the competition in the online space. Make sure your company's message is consistent both in stores and on your e-commerce website. Align your product offerings and at the same time consider what items might attract customers the most, whether it's online only or only in stores. Continuously study trends in consumers' online shopping habits and be prepared to adapt accordingly.

Your e-commerce website must comply with the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act. See additional legal challenges for e-commerce business owners. One of the advantages of having physical and e-commerce aspects of your business is that you can offer multiple logistics management options. For example, when customers buy a product on your website, they can have it shipped to their home or pick it up at your store.

You can also offer curbside pickup as an added convenience. You're managing an online order, but you remind customers that you also have a physical branch. You can use a comprehensive software package to manage all components of your business, even as you expand to online sales. Our review of the Oracle NetSuite CRM provides a great example of such a system.

In addition to their traditional CRM functions, there are enterprise resource planning tools, a CPQ (configure, price, quote) module, and a web portal that you can customize for customers. It has everything you need to manage both traditional sales and e-commerce. Social media is a great way to build relationships with your customers and expose them to your products. Start by identifying what channel your target audience is using; if none of your customers are on TikTok, there's no reason why you shouldn't be either.

Once you determine the best platform, you can set up an account and start connecting with potential customers and eventually directing them to your online and offline offers. Don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results; social media is a long game and it takes time to build an audience. Learn more about how to develop an e-commerce marketing strategy. You can also use a POS system to manage your inventory for physical and online stores.

Check out our picks for the best POS systems. Physical stores, such as Costco, have competed with e-commerce giants such as Amazon by offering exclusive services to members and offering customers the option to purchase items online and pick them up in person. E-commerce has permanently changed the way consumers shop, and shopping malls are no longer what they used to be. However, there is still hope for retailers based in shopping malls and physical stores.

By combining the benefits of online and in-store shopping, you can create a unique experience that your customers won't forget. Get started today by checking out the best e-commerce platforms. Earlier this year, David Simon, president and CEO of Simon Property Group (the largest owner of shopping centers in the country), rejected detractors who declared that the malls were dead. It's not just traditional retailers that have suffered because of the digital revolution, but the iconic shopping malls that house many of these large retailers have also suffered.

However, while there have been some positive short-term trends for traditional retailers and malls as the impact of COVID-19 has diminished, it is difficult to imagine it as a long-term trend. Some retailers have recovered, but it's not hard to see that the traditional shopping model isn't what it was during the height of shopping malls in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. Meanwhile, Toys' R 'Us will open a new flagship store inside the American Dream Mall in Bergen County, North Carolina. In partnership with Broad College's executive development programs, Forrest Morgeson, adjunct professor of marketing and faculty member of the Executive MBA program, shares his views on consumer behavior in relation to online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores, and shopping centers.

That momentary joy I felt when I saw happy families is the basis of the mall's strength and the essence of its continued usefulness. Many mall retailers are drowning in debt, as the pandemic forced them to close their doors for months, or forever. Last month, PacSun unveiled its PacSun Kids store concept, starting with a branch at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. .