6 Ways Malls & Stores Are Adapting To Current Retail Trends

6 Ways Malls & Stores Are Adapting To Current Retail Trends

Step into a mall in 2019, and you may not think much has changed over the last five years. Malls are still relatively busy, with kids still hanging out in the food court, and people spending weekends and evenings milling about. But, with the rise of online shopping, and the fact that everything is at the click of your finger, in-person retail has taken a dive. While I love to score all my fave items online at great prices, sometimes there’s nothing like wandering a mall with no purpose in mind, and a little bit of extra money to spend. Even better, if the mall has something worth seeing in person. With the current retail trends, malls have really had to up their game to entice people to leave their houses, and spend, which means appealing to what people love about online experiences, and catering to types of events you can only experience in-person.

Here are 6 ways malls and retail stores are adapting to current retail trends.

Influencer Meet & Greets

malls stores retail trends

It’s one thing to have a top influencer chat about how great a certain mall is, but it’s another to invite people to come and meet them at the store. One store in particular is doing a lot of this — Pandora is working with top Toronto influencers to host sales events that bring people in-store to meet their fave IG personalities. The store hosted Summer Style Sessions with local influencers at a variety of malls across Canada, and they’re happening on a regular basis. 

Instagrammable Activations

malls stores retail trends

Malls are appealing to everyones love of Instagram by curating fun activations that’ll get folks into its doors for photo ops. We’re already loving pop-ups like HideSeek, so it only makes sense that malls are taking cues from this trend. Plus, some are even inviting influencers to hang out and share the experiences. Sounds like a great reason to head to the mall!

Personalized In-Store Demonstrations

malls stores retail trends

It’s becoming more and more common for stores and malls to invite artists into their spaces to provide live, in-store demonstrations of their work. Stores at your local mall are often always hosting masterclasses or workshops where you can pick up new skills. William Sonoma at Toronto Eaton Centre hosts baking workshops with industry pros. This is a great, intimate way for people to meet local artists, and even take something special home with their purchase.

Hosting Local Markets


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One of the reasons so many people aren’t spending as much money at malls is because they’re making more of an effort to shop local. Malls have so much space, so it actually makes a lot of sense to utilize the unused space to support local businesses and artists. Shopping centres like Scarborough Town Centre are building these markets around specific holidays, such as Eid. This is a great way to shop for special gifts, and support local designers and makers in the community at the same time.

Offering Unique Workshops

malls stores retail trends

Offering unique experiences such as workshops, allows shopping malls to bring in new guests that may not have been previously reached. Last Christmas, Square One partnered with Embiria to put on a series of unique wellness workshops, enticing shoppers to hangout in the Holiday Market space, and bringing new shoppers into the mall. 

Providing Space For Community Events

malls stores retail trends
Dixie Outlet Mall

As I mentioned before, malls have a lot of unused space that can be used for a variety of activities. Dixie Outlet Mall is utilizing a big piece of unused space for its Dixie Living Room. The mall hosts a variety of events there and you can also rent out the Living Room space, for FREE!

Featured Image: Instagram/@filipajackson

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