Magazine article Journal of Property Management

As the Retail World Turns: Changing Consumer Behavior and Demographics Drive New Retail Concepts

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

As the Retail World Turns: Changing Consumer Behavior and Demographics Drive New Retail Concepts

Article excerpt

The retail shopping center is a living, breathing concept that is ever evolving. Today's retail centers are different from those of yesteryear. Property managers of these centers must hone their skills with the latest technology, follow the economic climate as well as monitor the changing wants and needs of today's consumers. Shopping centers are evolving into one-stop shopping marketplaces, as shoppers want to be able to see a movie, grab dinner and pick up a CD all in one location.

We are living in fastpaced times in which the traditional enclosed mall is struggling to compete with newer, smaller formats that take advantage of green spaces and open air. One-year projections for rental growth are reportedly 1.3 percent for regional malls, 1.5 percent for neighborhood centers and 1.7 percent for lifestyle centers.

Developers are focusing on centers that resemble a community and not just a place to shop. This includes a mix of retail, service and entertainment. Outdoor ambience such as concerts, carnival atmospheres with sidewalk refreshments and special marketing events are being created to keep customers coming back.

Convenience is the key word driving the evolution of this new retail center. Today's consumers lead busy lives, and their time is valuable. They want to be able to park in front of the store, run in, grab an item and leave.

Lifestyle centers promise customers upscale retail and fine dining in a convenient, open-air layout. However, the design of the lifestyle center seems to be evolving within itself. The first generation lifestyle center was a non-anchored strip center with mall tenants. In later projects, this center type has grown to regional mall size and often includes department store anchors. …

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