Life of a shopping mall


As every product shopping malls also have their life cycle or we can refer it as the shopping life of a mall. I still remember the launch of Panorama Center on mall road Lahore almost three decades ago. That was huge success at that time and I remember massive inflow of families visiting for their apparel needs. I shopped form there for years with my college friends and even in the beginning of my career. My recent visit to Panorama Center was entire disappointment and the retailer’s frustration for sale was so obvious and embarrassing that I had to leave the mall without visiting completely. This shopping mall has no major brand in it, small shops with very poor maintenance made things worse.

I realized this shopping mall is dead. I started thinking about all malls which are already dead or going to die soon. There were lots of names came to my mind.

That could be true for many malls and markets. I recently observed few symptoms of traffic shift in Jinnah Supper Islamabad, could be slow day or my wrong assessment. But any retail brand located there could correct my statement. So shopping malls also have the same life cycle like any other product. Malls have launch, growth, maturity and decline.

Malls could estimate the life for their shopping earnings. The estimates could consider the factors like real estate development, new developers in the same geographical coverage, rate of retail growth, residential growth in the geographical coverage, market factors like competition, international traffic, retail brands growth etc.

Can a mall increase shopping life? I think yes. If a mall could understand the stage of life cycle they are in and could extend the growth and maturity stages for few years, it could make quite a difference.

Retail consumer generally appreciates the change. They like to wear new brands, like to taste new foods, like to follow new fashions and like to visit new places (Shopping Malls). Consider a mall consumers visiting for past five years, same location, same layout, same brands. Challenge for malls could be providing the ‘CHANGE’ to satisfy consumer expectation.

Malls could not bring cost of operations down, only could keep their tenant happy by providing more sales. In my opinion mall management should start thinking like retailers as soon as they launch the mall. This will turn their mall into one big retail outlet and help them design strategies to increase the life cycle of the mall.

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