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Bangkok Retail – Lessons from the US on Retail Mall Culture

By on Mar 02, 2015 in Retail

c1_476310_150216102518_620x413About 80% of the country’s 1,200 malls are considered “healthy,” which means store vacancy rates of 10% or less, according to CoStar Group data published in The New York Times. That’s down from 94% in 2006 and there is even a website dedicated to documenting what some are calling the death of the shopping centre,, keeping tabs on the latest closures across the country.

Most of America’s malls were built in the 1950s and 1960s as a growing network of highways connected suburban homes to futuristic urban shopping centers. When they were first introduced, outfitted with sleek glass, shiny tiles, escalators and indoor fountains, they were an antidote to outdated open-air strip malls.”We must remember that the 1950s and 1960s were bathed in the desire for the modern, and in this light the newness of malls gave them a real edge over the old downtowns and open-air shopping centers,” sociologist David Roelfs, from the University of Louisville, told AFP.

There is a new mall model developing. “It’s not that consumption is going down; consumption is going up, we’re consuming differently in different places,” said sociologist George Ritzer, author of a book on consumption, Enchanting a Disenchanted World. Developers are turning away from the traditional mall model and now opening “mixed-use” complexes, often outdoors, that feature shops, restaurants and even generous green spaces.

“We really feel if we could capture people’s time, their wallets will follow. If they spend their time there, they will spend their money here as well, so we are really after capturing people’s time.” AFP

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Nora has been in the Corporate Communications arena for a number of years. Nora's role is to communicate all newsworthy items that are of a PR nature.

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