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THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL

The changing role of malls With e-commerce becoming increasingly popular, what will the impact be on shopping malls? And, of course, on mall media? By GLENDA NEVILL. While South Africa might not be experiencing a plethora of ‘dead’ malls, left lost and abandoned as a digitally connected and savvy population takes their shopping online, local shopping centres are certainly changing. A McKinsey study, The Future of the Shopping Mall, posits that a “storm of global trends” coming together at the same time has resulted in malls changing the role they play in people’s lives. “No longer are they primarily about shopping. Now, when consumers visit malls, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond traditional shopping. A trend helping to drive this evolution is changing demographics, such as an ageing population and increased urbanisation, which means more people living in smaller spaces and a greater need for public spaces in which to socialise and congregate,” the report says. The actual design of shopping centres will also have to change, as their functions evolve. Jean-Pierre Heim, CEO, founder and architect for HEIM Design, who recently addressed the South African Council of Shopping Centres congress, believes the mall of the future will revolve around the “spirit”. “The most important aspect is to show people that shopping centres of the future are designed for them, for their children, and according to their local climate, geography and social culture. That said, to add a sense of ‘spirit’ to a building is far from an easy task. In China this is called Feng Shui, in the Western world it is called integration. That fine line between function, form and harmony with tenants and shoppers is the key to adding a sense of ‘spirit’ in terms of new shopping centre design,” he says. Michael Smollan, chief growth and innovation officer at Smollan, says his sense is that “we will evolve to a space where physical retail is no longer just retail, rather it may become more experiential, where the purpose of a store is to experience and feel the brand and then purchasing and delivery is fulfilled elsewhere”. He says brands that connect with consumers and make it easy for them to experience the brand will win. “So I think while the The Media | wagthedog.co.za P 15 Jean-Pierre Heim


THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL
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