Standout features in malls may not mean more sales for retailers

Having standout features such as a rock wall or cycling paths in a shopping mall may help to attract only more footfall but may not necessarily bring in extra sales for tenants (Rethinking the future of retail spaces; Nov 5).

What is the point of having such frills without real shoppers that contribute to the retailers' cash tills?

A good example of malls without standout frills that still attract genuine shoppers are Tampines Mall, Tampines 1 and Century Square, located in a hub and connected seamlessly.

These malls are crowded with shoppers looking for promotions, bargains and value meals.

Retailers do not need standout features; they need help from mall owners via mall promotions and need to be targeted about who they are serving. Successful retailers thrive because they know how to get customers excited.

Having standout features does not make a mall relevant. You need a good retail mix that caters to the millennials and the older generation.

Liang Court used to have a dancing fountain near Daimaru department store. That attracted huge footfall but not real shoppers. Daimaru closed its doors in 2003.

What makes a successful mall is its ability to give shoppers more retail options and encourage them to spend more. Window shopping can result in impulse purchases.

Heartland malls have independently run shops offering unique goods and services. The malls organise street festivals in partnership with entities from other places such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. At these events, shoppers can buy items at reasonable prices without the need to travel overseas. Indeed, such collaborations increase sales.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2018, with the headline 'Standout features in malls may not mean more sales for retailers'. Print Edition | Subscribe