From a shopper’s experience: 6 things that malls can think about.

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As a guy, I am not that ‘typical guy’ when it comes to shopping. I do not dislike shopping. I am a guy who loves browsing, comparing and occasionally buying the item if I think it’s of value even when it was not in my mind before I arrive at the mall. To illustrate briefly? I just bought a pair of Camel leather shoes 3 weeks ago and a pair of Li Ning running shoe 2 weeks ago. In total, I have 20 plus pairs of leather shoes (most expensive is only a GEOX) and a total of 10 pairs of sports shoes. (most expensive is only a pair of PUMA). I bought three new long sleeve shirts 3 weeks ago and current total should be around 30-35 (except for yellow which makes me look fat, I think I have all the other colours…). Let’s not get started about business pants and jeans… Haha. Anyway, I think malls would love it if every guy that walks into the mall is like me. So, perhaps I am qualified to advise them about 6 key elements that will make them more successful?

#1 element? FAMILY themed. Remember yeah, every time a mall attracts a family, that’s 3-5 people at one go. That is why some malls provide FREE kids’ playground… That’s why many restaurants offer ‘Kids Eat Free.’  That’s why many departmental stores offer a cosy Baby Room. This is also why when they think of key themes for the mall, it should be something which attracts the kids.

#2 element? Good F&B outlets. Go to any mall, even on the same row, some restaurants are much more popular than the others.  Identifying the good ones and offering them a good deal will help attract patrons which will benefit the mall as a whole. Getting in new ones will help too. No one likes to visit a new mall for ‘old’ shops which they could visit in other malls. Some good examples? KL malls should have good restaurants offering Penang, Melaka, Ipoh food and more.

#3 element is the ‘affordability vs quality’ focus. Let’s get real. Most Malaysians want a pair of good jeans for RM69.90 or lower these days. They do not need a RM149.90 pair of jeans these days. They also want new designs every now and then when they visit.  If I see the SAME T-shirt on display when I visit a store one month later, I will NOT visit the store again. These are some of the brands which are doing well these days.  For luxury brands, a mall needs MANY of these and it’s not sufficient if there is one or two within the whole mall.

#4 element is the never ending events. Understand that good events attract lots of people. Pull in these events by offering them really attractive rates. Stop charging every event the SAME rates. More people means more spending and every outlet in the mall will get some business in return. Imagine walking into a mall with a happening event and the mood immediately improves versus a quiet mall.

#5 element is a good supermarket brand. There are supermarket brands which are closing many stores and there are supermarket brands which are opening ever more stores. Supermarket completes my visit to a mall. Instead of going to a supermarket on a separate trip, I can now do it during the same trip. Some good ones that I love? Jaya Grocer (neat and easy browsing experience), HERO Market (some promotions are pretty good) and even COLD Storage (the cafe inside is a plus).

#6 element is SAFETY and CONVENIENCE. Guards who can converse in English or Malay is a minimum requirement. Well lit car parks and good indicators so that I do not need to use 40 minutes to find a car park is really useful. Please place machines to pay for my parking tickets on ALL floors. Let me tell you that my second trip to a mall which made me wait half an hour to pay was one year later!

These are the 6 elements which I love. I have no idea if it will attract all other shoppers yeah. If I missed out some items, please do comment yeah. I can add it into this article if it’s something very relevant to other shoppers. It’s a competitive world out there for shopping malls and the good ones (regardless of size) will prosper while the bad ones will flounder.  Happy doing ever more to attract shoppers because there are going to be ever more malls opening up here in the Klang Valley.

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written on 15 Sept 2018

Next suggested article:  Online shopping will not kill all malls, not during my generation.

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