The retail landscape is always changing. Since the birth of the department store in the 1800s, retailers have consistently paved the way to innovate the shopping experience. From boutique stores to shopping malls to e-commerce, the retail industry is always introducing something new. Now, Overland Park malls are poised to join the next step in retail immersion.
Outdoor retail is not a new shopping experience. But, brand immersion, combined with innovations in mixed-use developments, are. Due to the popularity of this style of development, outdoor retail provides customers with a more holistic interaction with brands.
Outdoor retail, inspired by European promenades, is a mix of the traditional shopping mall and the downtown shopping district. Outdoor retail is also often a key sector of mixed-use communities. By utilizing the accessibility of outdoor retail, these developments help encourage customers to spend more of their free time in districts focused on different aspects of their lives, on a regular basis.
Aside from drawing more customers, outdoor retail does something that e-commerce can’t. By creating an inviting, immersive environment, retailers who lease areas in outdoor shopping centers add brand equity to their storefronts. Outdoor retail offers the benefit of brand exclusivity while strategically leveraging the surrounding stores to draw more customers and increase overall immersion into the space. This leads customers to associate stores and restaurants not only with each other but with leisure, relaxation and fun.
Overland Park malls have been serving Kansas City residents for decades. But like any trend, the traditional indoor shopping mall is going out of style. The past few years have seen a revitalization of the downtown shopping district and the development of its very own mixed-use community center, Bluhawk.
By having a dedicated shopping neighborhood, customers can get the best of both indoor shopping malls and outdoor shopping districts. The walkability reflects that of a typical mall, but the individual storefronts and outdoor promenades alleviate crowds and promote recreational visits. This can increase sales for brands that join the development, whether it’s grocery stores, restaurants or outlet stores. These immersive, curated outdoor retail experiences are drawing customers in from major cities all over the world.
As consumer demands shift, brands and lessees have to keep up with the changes. Retailers looking to innovate the shopping space should look to mixed-use developments. By combining the strongest elements of traditional Overland Park malls and the downtown experience, outdoor retail, specifically located in mixed-use communities, is the next step in the developmental evolution of marketplaces.