retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Houston Chronicle has a story about how some malls, desperately seeking relevance - not to mention survival - are embracing the use of green space “where adults can practice yoga, kids can run around and families can enjoy a movie night on the lawn.”

The Chronicle writes that “mall owners, facing mounting pressure from the growing popularity of e-commerce, are increasingly focused on creating a brick-and-mortar experience that can’t be replicated online. In recent years, malls have focused on adding high-end restaurants, bars and movie theaters to attract patrons.

“Green space is a natural extension of that movement, one that takes a page out of urban planning around parks.”

At one such shopping center, Houston’s First Colony Mall, “six restaurants will overlook the new green space, allowing parents to watch their children play while eating a meal on the patio. The lawn will be surrounded by Adirondack chairs and tables, shade structures and lawn games such as corn hole and oversized Connect Four. On one end, a video screen spanning 13 feet tall and 21 feet wide will be used to play films, live music and Texans and Astros games. The mall plans to host regular events on the lawn, which could include yoga sessions in the morning and game watch parties in the evenings.”
KC's View:
This goes back to the point I made in this morning’s Eye-Opener … competitive realities are forcing companies to make disruptive choices and even radical decisions about their business models. Some are embracing the moment more than others, and some are recognizing that they have to be making long-term decisions that account for the fundamental ways in which consumer behaviors are changing.