To many aspiring entrepreneurs, building a shopping mall might seem like too much of a cumbersome challenge. However, in the entrepreneurial day and age, we live in, there is nothing an aspiring business leader cannot accomplish with proper planning, financial and logistics strategizing and preparation. When it comes to launching your own shopping mall, the capital investment will be substantial, but the long-term ROI will be more than worth the effort. With that in mind, here are the essential considerations you should incorporate into your business plan.
Choosing the “perfect” location
In the world of retail and brick-and-mortar businesses, location is one of the most important factors that will define the future of your brand. Unlike a company residing on the digital plane, the success of a shopping mall will depend entirely on the daily influx of paying customers and the popularity of the complex in the competitive marketplace.
This means that you should conduct thorough research of every local market in order to find a suitable location for your mall – a location that’s well-populated with potential customers but not competitors. This doesn’t have to be the city center, as many up-and-coming neighborhoods could use a shopping mall right around the corner.
Research the local demographics
Speaking of local marketplaces, the design of the interior and the identity of the brand itself will depend on the unique demographic that resides in the neighborhood. For instance, if the local demographic is mostly comprised of lower-middle-class consumers, then you can’t hope for your high-end shopping mall to be popular or successful.
On the other hand, if you build a lower-tier shopping mall in a luxurious up-and-coming neighborhood that attracts homeowners hailing from the CEO, executive management, and entrepreneurial branches, you can expect your business to go under in less than a year. This simple truth means that you need to research the demographic thoroughly in order to build a tailored offer they won’t be able to refuse.
Introduce the “wow” effect
When it comes to shopping mall interior design, there can be no room for anything less than enthralling, inspiring, and welcoming. Shopping malls are a dime a dozen nowadays, and you can bet that if you just copy the same old layout that resembles every other in the industry, your customer will have no reason to keep coming back.
Instead, you need to introduce that “wow” effect into the design, and modern architecture firms such as Studio X emphasize the importance of weaving a brand’s identity into a seamless look the modern mindful shopper can fully appreciate. Speaking of complementing the design with your brand’s unique identity, branding should be at the forefront of your growth strategy.
Focus on building a brand
In the modern business world, if you don’t have a brand, you might as well close shop for good. While your shopping mall should distance itself from the competition with its unique offering and design, it’s still a shopping mall, and you have to put a friendly face on it and establish an emotional connection with your audience. Instead of focusing on sales-y ads and generic visuals, you want to bring in a creative team to craft a compelling branding package that will contain values, messages, stories, and visuals intended to incentivize and inspire the local consumer.
Hire the right people to run a tight ship
When launch day finally arrives, you want to have a sizable team of professionals at the ready to greet the customers, ensure they are taken care of, and keep the ship sailing in the right direction. Organization and meticulous execution on a daily basis will be pivotal here, and you cannot afford to receive a single negative review in the first few months after the launch, so make sure you tailor your approach around the needs and wishes of your demographic. Remember, customer satisfaction always wins the day.
Building a shopping mall is, in many ways, just like launching any other business. However, there are inherent difficulties that come with the challenge, so be sure to follow these essential steps if you want to pave the road to a successful and prosperous future in the industry.
Bio: Cooper Klein is a bearded dad and an interior designer. You can find him on Twitter.