Situated in the heart of Itaim, Sao Paulo, Brazil the challenge for the developer and designers of JK Iguatemi mall, was to create a luxurious shopping centre in Sao Paulo with restaurants, cinemas, 3 office towers as well as local and international luxury retail branded stores. The project's spatial design aims to organise and orient visitors within the enclosed large-scale public spaces of the shopping mall's interior. Two distinctive spacial volumes, “the gallery” and “the plaza” are connected by the secondary spaces “the streets” to create coherent internal circulation using urban architectural devices. The design also allows visitors to maintain a sense of orientation with vistas of the city centre.
Despite appearing everywhere or of being very common, the shopping mall design as it's been conceived for the last 50 years is at a critical inflexion point in our economic times. Social media and the likes of Instagram and global trends are coming together at the same time to cause shopping mall designers and operators to change the role they play in the community.
No longer are they primarily about fashion, homewares, department stores, hypermarkets and fast food consumption. Now, when consumers visit a shopping mall they want experiences that go well beyond traditional shopping and reaches out to the community. Today's shopping mall business model needs to work with a network of more than 500 influencers, which can help to make the mall brand pervasive and sustainable in the local community.
As these trends take root in the global marketplace, they are forcing mall designers, developers and operators to rethink how they conceive, plan and operate their properties.
The fastest way to get people to hang around is to feed them. So it's no surprise that the food court has become an important battleground for shopping mall design. And with so-called vegan foodie culture going mainstream, once-typical fast food offerings no longer cut it.
Malls are also experimenting with other ways to keep shoppers entertained. At the base level of that initiative is creating a space that shoppers actually want to be in. Utilising special events and cultural initiatives also generate foot traffic.
A key area of growth for the Westfield mall operator has been the health and wellness sector, particularly “micro-fitness,” meaning boutique concepts like Barry's Bootcamp.
Once shoppers have been enticed, the trick is to keep them coming back, ideally with tenants that invite habitual visits.
In the face of these challenges, we think shopping mall planning should seek more ways to stay relevant, drive footfall, sales and efficiency. This is where we see successful players investing along three key fronts.
A. Differentiating the consumer offering, with a focus on experience and convenience.
B. Transforming the mall experience by leveraging technology and multichannel strategies.
C. Exploration of new formats and commercial real estate opportunities.
One example of a successful developer/operator can be seen through our collaboration with Multi shopping malls.
The Multi Corporation is a Pan-European retail asset management, property management and (re)development company. They currently own and manage over 120 retail assets across Europe, segmented into a portfolio of shopping centres, retail parks, outlet centres and grocery-anchored shopping centres.
Multi (re)develops large-scale mixed-use shopping centres and inner-city regeneration projects that are innovative, unique, sustainable and appealing. Multi's âDesign & Development' formula focuses on outstanding design and quality.
Our internal process of renewal, allows us to continually benchmark and write about the best in class retail trends in many market sectors across the globe. Please take a moment to review other news items linked to this page.
Why not call and talk to us about your shopping mall design or refurbishment programme, branding, digital and social media requirements.