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Why Are Shopping Malls Dying? 5 Reasons Why

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Five to ten years ago, malls were all the craze around America and many other countries worldwide. What’s not beautiful about doing all your shopping under one roof and still have some time to have quick icecream. Malls were the dream.

Teenagers would flock to malls over the weekends for a fun time as they have movie theatres, arcades, ice cream parlors, and food joints. It was the ultimate hangout spot.

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The narrative has however changed in 2019. In a sad and surprising turn of events, more and more malls are dying and laying empty and deserted. Where did everyone go you ask? There are a few factors that have contributed to the abandonment of malls today.

Read all about them below.

The Internet

The internet has grown and diversified so much within the past decade. On top of social media expansion, the internet brought with it the option of online shopping and delivery options.

Everything has been made easier in terms of access as it is all in the touch of your fingertips on your phone.

Businesses have evolved and moved to the online realm. This has also reduced their budgets for marketing strategies as online platforms are cheaper than putting up posters and billboards.

Online shops have overtaken shops with physical locations. So, even the ones that do have physical locations require an online presence as that is where the larger market is.

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You can imagine what this mass movement to online has done to malls, annihilation.

Lower-Income Consumers

Many consumers today are living from paycheck to paycheck. Because of this, they are trying as much as possible to reduce their spending including saving on gas costs by not driving to malls.

Lower-income consumers are flocking to dollar stores that have opened thousands of small, freestanding locations in lower-income neighborhoods, more accessible and convenient for these shoppers.

Amazon has also led to the failure of the mall system as they offer rock bottom prices on pretty much everything.

The online shopping giant has stolen a huge market from the malls. It’s like black Friday everyday on Amazon.

Outdoor Shopping Centres

Everywhere you turn, in all major cities, more and more stand-alone shopping centers are popping up. This can be attributed to the costs of the operation involved.

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Having a store in a mall is more expensive to maintain and more business owners are opting to build outdoor outlets which are cheaper to build and maintain.

Millenials Lifestyles

Millennials, unlike the generations before them, are opting for more personalized intimate services catered to them.

They are not bothered about the big brand names and luxury goods. Instead, they are shopping with small businesses that offer them their unique requirements.

Millennials are taking up a minimalistic approach to life and it is reflected in all aspects of their lives.

From their housing where they prefer small apartments in urban areas which they can afford, do their shopping.

Millennials are spending more on leisure, experiential travel and entertainment purchases.

Health and wellness are also big causes for Millennials who are prioritizing their health and taking up healthier lifestyles.

Traditional Mall Mentality

The malls catering to the first-class consumers are bound to survive longer than the rest. Most malls are not transitioning with the times, from their marketing strategies to their designs.

Traditional malls should embrace the revolution and transform to attract more business.

Shopping and dining aren’t enough to bring people into the mall anymore.

Considering that Millennials are just now experimenting with their purchasing power, malls and stores in malls would have benefited most by aligning their marketing strategies to the millennial’s unique needs. 

Sure, some malls are dying, but it’s due to the success of other malls that are not focused on e-commerce but have better adapted to the shifting desires of experience-hungry consumers.


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