Future shoppers mean opportunity for malls says Centre: MK report

The joint owners of Centre: MK have commissioned a research report in a bid to identify key consumer trends that will have an impact on the future of retail and leisure destinations.

Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper commissioned The Future Laboratory to create the report. It shows three key trends that it says offers exciting opportunities for malls in the future.

The Future Shopper Report predicts that, by 2025, a new breed of consumer will be using retail and leisure destinations worldwide. It says they will exhibit three key behaviours that will shape what developers and retailers must offer:

Community builders: Consumers will visit malls in search of communal experiences. Social interaction will go hand-in-hand with the purchase of products, and exclusive products, services and experiences will be used to reward customers. Three quarters of Generation Z consumers already favour stores that provide a memorable and encouraging offer, and half of 20-year olds search for enhanced retail experiences from physical stores, according to the report.

Hero hunters: The ethical behaviour of brands is becoming increasingly important to consumers, says the report. It predicts that this behaviour will grow substantially, and that shoppers will seek out localised, community-focused spaces, or brands that specifically employ local people.

Service Synergists: The third trend focuses on service, and the changing way it is perceived and valued by consumers. Future shoppers will expect staff to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable collaborators in their purchases, says the report. This will mean employing emotionally intelligent, motivated and well-paid ‘brand fans’ to work in stores.

“Over the next ten years, a series of powerful new social, cultural and technological driving forces will reshape consumers’ expectations of retail and leisure destinations. Tomorrow’s consumers will seek a greater sense of belonging, which malls can facilitate, complete transparency from brands, and to have engaging experiences with staff. The smart destinations are those that recognise the changes are happening now and respond, rather than waiting, which will be too late,” says The Future Laboratory deputy foresight editor Kathryn Bishop.

“These profound lifestyle and technological changes affecting retail are structural, not cyclical, and therefore require landlords to embrace the changes and adapt their approach to responsible investment,” adds Chris Taylor, head of private markets and Hermes Investment Management.

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