Great food courts and Apple stores determine a mall’s success

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Apple Store at the Grove LA

Just found out that the three most common questions for mall guest services are:  “Where is the restroom? Where is the Apple Store? Where is the food court?”

A mall without an Apple Store is so clearly disappointing – as is a mall without top quality food offerings. An indoor-only mall is also pretty disappointing in my book and feels dated vs. shopping and dining al fresco.

But what these most often-asked questions reveal is how much our shopping priorities have shifted. Instead of apparel, we want to spend our money on stylish gadgets that make our lives easier and we are becoming more foodie oriented even at the mall. My friends in rural Wisconsin, drive miles out of their way to go to a mall that has a Panera (ideally one with outdoor seating).

Malls have to keep reinventing themselves to stay relevant, contemporary and in tune with the times. Renovations include the addition of new retailers and services. One of the biggest pushes, however, is finding ways to let in more natural light. Sometime in the 1990s, enclosed malls began to feel dated and developers (led by the Rick Caruso of LA’s Grove and Vegas’ Linq) started to respond by creating more open-air malls, called lifestyle centers!

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