The future of retail – redux

Well I guess I should have read this:

Before I wrote this:

But the McKinsey article was backlogged in my “weekend” reading folder of my email. The good news is, now I can see if I think like a McKinsey partner!

The things I took away from the McKinsey article that were additive to my thinking were:

  1. It really is all about experience for millennials. We see it in everything we do in the resort industry, and in our entertainment venues. Millennials want to have an experience when they are out of their home, one they can’t replicate in their digital life. They want to interact with others, but there has to be “stuff” to do and it needs to be something they can share back into their digital life through social and other means. That means you better have the wi-fi and DAS infrastructure needed to support that. Older malls may need some retro-fitting.
  2. Similarly, I loved the examples of interior malls incorporating outdoor spaces or turning interior spaces into exterior-like spaces. Again, they have been inside on their computers for hours, now they want sunshine and fresh air.
  3. Alternative formats are really limitless. I noted hints here and in some other articles read about more F&B centric malls (versus the ratio we see today). It reminds me of the streets of Rome, I wondered how seven trattorias and pizzerias in a row could survive, but eating and drinking are part of the social fabric and we are seeing that in today’s millennials and frankly in the baby boomers. I know when I plan out the days of a vacation, the first three things I look to fill in are the meals, then work around that for other activities.

Since my first post and the McKinsey article, we have seen another mass store closure announced, this time Wet Seal. Commercial real estate owners are going to have to adapt quickly, I am afraid; it doesn’t appear this trend is slowing down.



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