The Mall of America has transcended into an iconic shopping center giant offering a huge variety of different services. Executive Maureen Cahill put it best: “we’re more than a mall, we’re a destination” (Kerin et al., 2011, p. 330). Since opening in 1992, Mall of America has expanded far beyond the point of any other shopping center and become an amusement park with a number of facilities for shoppers. While the strength of the brand is evident, the attitude of retail and consumerism is certainly changing with the advent of technology gearing towards ease of use. Despite this, the challenge for Mall of America is to continue “to attract even more millions of visitors than today” (Kerin et al., 2011, p. 330) and appeal to retail establishments.
Mall of America’s retail life cycle has progressed over the years and has become a source for shopping and entertainment. In order to continue to progress, they should become a multi-channel retailer.
The Mall of America has been such a marketing success because of its versatility and marketing strategy. Both the amount of services and diversity of the shops are keys to its success. This mix appeals to a wide crowd, especially considering that many of the features that Mall of America provides are unique to them alone. Beyond that, Mall of America provides ease of entrepreneurship for fledgling ideas that are innovative but lacking in resource. In addition, the centralization of its different retailers offers a simple one-stop shopping experience.
Since 1992, American culture has made several technological leaps that expedite marketing. Namely, the Internet and online sales have accrued nearly “$200 billion a year in America” (Clicks and bricks, 2012, para. 2). Mall of America seems to capitalize on social shifts. The Internet is the shop of the future with consumers seeking convenience in their shopping behaviors. As such, Mall of America should incorporate the Internet into their channels of distribution. While it certainly would not be the same experience, they will offer an online customer the benefit of lower costs and unique products that few retailers have the same capacity for. Lacy and Keeble (2013) have noted that the growing presence of the Internet requires all businesses to rework their retailing because of the “demand in resources” (para. 2) and “multi-channel platforms to tell narratives about the provenance of their products” (para. 9).
Much of the brand strength that Mall of America has is owed to its innovation, emotional response, and cost effectiveness. The retail life cycle they have is unlike many other outlets due to the breadth of facilities and options that consumers are privy to. Therefore, the most suitable criteria to examine when building new facilities would be consumer interest and feasibility because innovation and intrigue are key components of Mall of America’s success. Considering Mall of America’s size, conveying their purposes to prospective customers clearly and precisely is important in order to have necessary expansions. Gauging customer interest, particularly in endeavors like hotels, is essential in order to tailor expensive projects to success.
There is a reason that Mall of America is still successful. The diversity and the savings on certain products are an undeniable attraction to the shopper, while interesting and unique experiences found at the various attractions appeal to the tourist. While shopper and tourist are not mutually exclusive descriptors, they both seek the same core experience at Mall of America such as uniqueness, cost savings, and simplicity. To ensure success, Mall of America needs to continue providing these while offering potential customers a taste of what one can experience through multi-channel retailing.
Clicks and bricks. (2012). The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/21548241
Kerin, R. A., Hartley, S. W., & Rudelius, W. (2011). Retailing and wholesaling: Chapter 14. In Marketing: The core (4th ed.).
Lacy, P., & Keeble, J. (2013). Technology is crucial to driving changes in consumer behaviour. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/technology-crucial-driving-change-consumer-behaviour