Malls across America are owned by REITs like GGP, who are looking increase the value to their retail tenants by stemming the loss of traffic to malls. There are a number of converging trends we discovered to be the cause of this: Online shopping, overbuilding of malls, and the “mallification” of other areas of life like fitness has created a lot of competition. Additionally, the industry’s obsession with price per square foot and the decline of record and book sales meant less frequent trips – malls became more of a “special occasion” trip to buy expensive luggage or kitchenware.
My concept was to transform GGP malls into a community center that would be the host to numerous cultural events such as art shows, plays, bands, exercise and outdoor movie nights aimed to bring more frequent traffic. The tagline “It’s Happening” could be applied to both the main GGP brand and their mall subbrands.
Another trend I wanted to tap into was the concept of the “flash sale.” Sites like Gilt had created so much excitement for online shopping, my idea was to replicate it in real life using proximity beacons that would give users instant deals based on their location.