It’s not that malls are dying. In fact, many malls are not only surviving, quite a few are thriving.
Despite all the doomsayers, physical retail is not facing extinction. Not only are many retailers opening significant numbers of profitable locations, many of the most highly valued and rapidly growing pure-play online brands are opening brick & mortar locations. These new units are among the most productive of any specialty retail sites anywhere.
Department stores aren’t going away any time soon either, despite the constant buzz of consternation from Wall Street. Several major players are successfully reinventing themselves.
What IS happening is a great bifurcation. The proverbial fork in the road. The increasingly clear emergence of “have’s” and “have not’s. And the looming death in the middle.
“Class A” malls and the also-rans.
Retailers that have a well articulated target consumer and seamlessly meet those customers needs anytime, anywhere, anyway, versus stores drowning in a sea of sameness, offering disjointed service and peddling average products to average people.
Brands that either go big, efficient and cheap or intimate and remarkable, versus those that get stuck in the middle or are trapped in an inevitable race to the bottom.
There are obvious choices to be made. The chasm is widening. The poles are becoming more extreme.
Yet many of us remain stuck. Many brands keep straddling the line.We fail to choose because a bold commitment seems risky, when in fact it is our inaction that is the riskiest decision of all.
Pick a lane. Start driving.
And you might want to step on the gas.