Let’s go to the mall
Let’s talk about mall culture and the problems facing retail today. Most people associate both to be the same thing, but they can be different in nature. Retail in a traditional sense is the act of physically visiting and buying products from a brick and mortar store; in a mall or otherwise. Mall culture, is really related to social gatherings. This is better understood by watching the Robin Sparkles song, Let’s Go To The Mall, from the comedy How I Met Your Mother. Sure, it’s a parody. But it gets the idea across. The rise of e-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay kickstarted the downward slide of retail. And as electronic payment options and logistics networks started to improve, consumers easily shifted towards online shopping, and malls started to lose their shine.
Today, we’re in the age of mobile shopping, which is a further evolution of e-commerce. Smartphones, apps and proliferation of cashless payment solutions meant that instead of being able to shop from the comfort of our homes, we can now buy just about anything, any kind of service, from anyone, anywhere.
This is a society untethered, which brings me back to mall culture. Malls today have to retool themselves as social hubs, with more cafes, entertainment and experiential zones where the physical act of shopping comes second. The challenge to retain the crowd then, is to constantly revamp the experience to t cultural avors of the month. I nd these socioeconomic changes brought on by technology fascinating, which is why we’re doing a deep dive into the topic this month.