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Mall shoppers thrive on experience

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Shopping malls continue to be popular with consumers because they offer hands-on shopping experience, according to results of a new survey from Glimcher Retail Monitor. Consumers cite reasons such as ability to try on clothes and accessories (74%), the shopping experience (55%) and store variety (49%) for going to the mall.

In addition, 65% of consumers say a greater variety of stores would get them to shop at the mall more often, while 52% would visit more frequently if experiences such as yoga classes and cooking demonstrations were offered. Thirty percent of consumers shop exclusively at shopping malls, compared to 20% who shop exclusively online.;

"The Glimcher Retail Monitor survey findings show consumers seek an all-around shopping experience,” said Dr. Marianne Bickle, director of the University of South Carolina’s Department of Retailing. “Malls of the 21st century should provide a balance of entertainment and shopping experiences. As our study demonstrates, the components required to bring in foot traffic include planned entertainment, communication, variety and commitment."

“The way consumers enjoy the mall has changed. Today, the mall is a destination, offering more than just retail,” Michael P. Glimcher, chairman of the board and CEO of Glimcher. “While shopping will always be the primary reason people go to the mall, the survey supported our notion that going to the mall is about the experiences -- whether that’s having a salad and a glass of wine with your girlfriends or enjoying a movie on a Friday night. People want a mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment.”