Despite the boom in digital marketing and online shopping, consumers still make the vast majority of their purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Shopping centers aren’t just places to buy things. They’re social centers, places for entertainment and employment hubs. They’re also transforming what consumers can expect from a shopping experience.
With the increasing diversification and aging of the U.S. population, the line between shopping, entertainment, and community building has blurred. This blending of experiences has created an opportunity for retail to strengthen social ties within communities looking for communal experiences. And, it’s not just the new entrants that are getting involved in the trend. Not surprisingly, many big box retailers have downsized their formats to better meet shopper expectations and desires for more of an experience destination.