What is the future of retail and malls in the United States? With Amazon and online shopping growing, where does that leave physical retailers and all of the real estate they have traditionally occupied? What shops, attractions, and new experiences will fill the millions of square feet of empty retail space at malls and shopping centers? I shared my thoughts in this wide-ranging interview with Authority Magazine.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview where I answer the question:
“Can you share 5 examples of how retail companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to shop?“
A 2017 report by Credit Suisse predicted 25% of malls will go out of business by 2022 leaving millions of square feet of retail space empty. That will likely be accelerated by COVID-19. What will happen to all of that space? I predict that experiences will be a major part of the future of retail. Trampoline parks, indoor theme parks, go-kart family fun centers, and virtual reality games have already started to replace many department stores in malls. The new American Dream Mall in New Jersey is a look at the future of the country. It was originally designed to have 55% entertainment space and 45% retail space but has already pivoted to 70% entertainment space and only 30% retail space. Our 14 chain indoor family fun center currently has four locations inside malls. We plan to open more locations inside of malls in the coming years. Each location takes up the space of a large department store with over 50,000 square feet of rides, arcade games, dining, and more.
Do you ever fear falling behind in your marketing knowledge? I know I do, especially as the rate of change continues to accelerate. It feels like there is a new ad platform or trend that pops up every day. How do you stay ahead and continue to be a marketing thought leader throughout your career? I recently shared the system I use during my presentation at the AMA Marketing Tech Summit at UC Irvine.
P.L.A.N. Repeat is the nickname of the system I created to stay on top of marketing trends and become a marketing thought leader.
Prepare – List out your short and long term goals.
Learn – Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and tools.
Advertise – Broadcast your knowledge and others too.
Network – Become part of the community.
Repeat – Continue to set goals and deadlines.
Throughout my career, I have reserved at least one a day month to update my portfolio and reflect on what I learned during the previous 30 days. One of my New Year resolutions was to double-down on learning and participate more in the Orange County marketing community. I have been attending at least two marketing events a month, hosting a podcast, and taking classes through LinkedIn and other learning platforms. Having a plan in place and making space for continued learning is critical. I can’t stress enough the importance of setting calendar reminders to conduct weekly or even monthly accountability check-ins.
Below are all of the slides that I shared during my presentation that describe the system in more detail. I also cover my specific goals and how I am putting my system to the test.
The Legends of Oz World team at Summertime Entertainment teamed up with the incredible team at Linden Lab (Creators of Second Life), led by Producer Bo Barfield and Art Director Jordan Itkowitz, to create a Legends of Oz pack for their block building app Blocksworld. The Legends of Oz Blocksworld project has been one of my favorite projects to work on since joining Summertime back in 2009. Each morning, I open the Blocksworld app to see what new inventive contraptions players have built using the Legends of Oz pack. See for yourself, by downloading the Blocksworld app at the Apple App Store for free. The Legends of Oz pack is available as an in-app purchase for only $1.99. Below is the press release. Continue reading →