Optimizing shopping mall design, planning and branding strategies

We have been working with shopping centre developers and owners in the retail sector for many years, helping to develop retail environments, branding and wayfinding technology that is reshaping the way consumers shop.

Consequently, shopping mall owners need to accommodate customers who are seeking avenues to buy and receive product opportunities in the most convenient ways and attract customers into their mall outlets by transitioning into a lifestyle brand with a wide variety of food and beverage, entertainment, leisure, fashion apparel, accessories and finance solutions.

On a recent trip to Dubai, we visited the Dubai Mall. The centre embraces sound planning and many of the issues mentioned above including the Wow factor for maintaining a vibrant and successful retail mall.

Optimizing shopping mall design, planning and branding strategies Dubai Mall internal water feature

Developers and their retail tenants are now combining the ease of shopping online with the brick-and-mortar experience and technology to provide solutions to the points mentioned above.

A typical mistake made by a developer's architect whilst designing the shopping centre is to focus more on the look and feel of the exterior structure and external finishes of the centre. Not on tenant footprints, the planning, zoning entertainment and leisure facilities, circulation and branding. Look and feel of the external character of the building is one factor. However, a compelling design for planning and circulation, tenant mix, entertainment and leisure facilities, branding and marketing strategy is generally more imperative to the success of the overall profitability of the development.

Optimizing shopping mall design, planning and branding strategies EMQuartier entrance design

On another benchmark trip to Bangkok, Thailand we visited the EMQuartier mall in the city centre. Its design provides an outstanding level of entertainment, leisure and retail mix. The images above and below illustrate this point and are taken from EmQuartier.

Optimizing shopping mall design, planning and branding strategies, planning ciriulation and landscaping

It's a great opportunity to see some significant viewpoints, which directly and indirectly influence the designing of the shopping mall and how one can secure the best chances of getting a great design solution that draws customers the centre, producing loyalty and developer profitability.

We have identified four priorities for success and they are:

1. Use the design process to create the “wow factor!” in the shopping mall's fashion, food and beverage food court, leisure and entertainment retail spaces.

2. Expand communal areas to create wonderful indoor and outdoor landscaping. Create more points of interactivity, convergence and magnificence with the landscaped areas which help deliver community hubs. The image below is from the Icon Siam Mall Bangkok, Thailand.

Optimizing shopping mall design, planning and branding strategies, planning location of restaurants

3. Add “live/work” to give purpose to the shopping mall.

4. Don't count on retail or anchors tenants to generate traffic. Expand the share of wallet through the inclusion of quality leisure and entertainment facilities.

Campbell Rigg offers new concepts for shopping centre design.

Vast numbers of shopping centres are closing due to many reasons. One of the fundamental reasons behind a drop in footfall to the shopping centre is the poor design, planning, tenant mix, food and beverage dining areas and branding. This is the base of the structural problem and it is one of the crucial contributing factors to success or failure. Below is an image of EmQuartiers' food court.

Optimizing shopping mall design, planning and branding strategies, planning food court design

It is critical to the process of design to have the right concept worked out for the shopping centre. There are a number of factors we rely upon which a concept is based. These are, demographics, geographic location and catchment, customer expectations and market study or survey. Each one of these components and the information from the research helps in understanding the shopping centre design and USP. A study of this information comparison can encourage the design direction, positioning, size of the mall, and so forth.

Finding the right Architect or Design Consultant

For the majority of developers, this issue is hard to decide, if they should hire worldwide architects or whether they engage a reputed boutique shopping centre design agency like Campbell Rigg. Who engage and fulfil the local consumer requirements concerning the advancement of the overall concept and impart confidence in the developer to lease space to tenants and for the retailers to sign leases.

The first image shown in his news article is of our work at Marmara Forum for Multi, the shopping mall developer and operator based in Istanbul, Turkey. The image below illustrates one of our planning options for a shopping mall in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Optimizing shopping mall design, planning and branding strategies, planning mall customer circulationOur internal process of renewal, allows us to continually benchmark and write about the best in class branding and design in many market sectors across the globe.

The majority of images contained in this article have taken from the web and are credited to others and not CampbellRigg.

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