The Changing Demographic of Shopping Malls


United Kingdom, June 2014- A client of Select Contracts owns an amazing portfolio of shopping malls throughout Europe with an incredible food and beverage offering. However, there is a lack of leisure options in the malls outside of the typical cinema and occasional bowling alley.

Select Contracts were contracted to examine eight of the client’s shopping malls in the UK. In order to understand the untapped market, we ran a market study on the current demographic of the mall versus the regional drive market to determine which populations were not visiting the malls. What we found changed the way we see shopping today.

The lynchpin of a successful modern shopping mall is creating human-centric experiences. This means creating enjoyable places where people actually want to spend time in, that also happen to sell product. The original product-centric design of shopping malls fails at two things: one, it does not allow for adaptation to the shopping experience- think static displays turning out one product after another- and two, in the modern world of online purchasing, product movement is driven entirely by the seller with the lowest price where the only competitive angle is to gouge prices, which is never good for business. This shift from product-centric design to human-centric experience is the key to successful shopping mall design.

After completing an in-depth market study for our UK client, we were then able to understand what the regional drive market was seeking. From this, we developed a concept design and business plan for each of the shopping malls by designing leisure attractions for the demographics specific to those malls. The plan is to now build and operate those attractions or find operators for those specific attractions.

Select Contracts have done this for a few malls in the past in the United States and also in the Middle East but it was fascinating being able to develop an extensive understanding of the market by completing this process for eight malls simultaneously. This was a very valuable undertaking for the client and we hope to do this for more developers in the future.