Mall property owners and shoppers alike are turning to new technology to revive the American shopping mall.
On the consumer side, innovation is coming, according to experts and start-ups in the retail space. Some technologies that are being tested now:
- Tablets that project patterns on shoes
- RFID scanners so consumers can scan an item in a store and see other options available online
- AR/VR (augmented reality or virtual reality) so shoppers can “try on” items like makeup (think Snapchat filters but instead of butterflies flying around your head it’s that new blush color on your cheeks)
- Smart mirrors
On the facilities side, as brands and retail stores adopt these new technologies, the shopping centers that house these retailers will need to get smarter too. First, there may be new requirements built into leases to support these digital technologies, like specific lighting in areas where holograms are used, or more powerful WiFi networks in stores where AR/VR becomes popular.
The transformation of in-store experiences also place new pressures on a mall’s common areas. If a customer just had a really great experience in a store then goes out to the mall courtyard where they’re blasted back to 1985 with fluorescent lighting, stagnant signage and inconsistent hot/cold zones, they’re going to get uncomfortable fast and their total time spent at the mall may start to decline. New technologies on the facilities side can minimize these risks. Some new shopping mall facility technologies include:
- Command and control interfaces for building managers and engineers to proactively monitor common spaces, schedule overrides, control full systems and individual devices.
- Smart lighting
- Digital signage and virtual assistants
- Charging stations for cars and phones
For more on the retail industry and how a Master Systems Integrator can help energy managers and portfolio owners address the challenges of the retail industry today, download our e-book "How an MSI Can Help Your Retail Portfolio Thrive."
Continue following our "Retail Industry: From Retail Apocalypse to Smart Malls, How Energy Managers Can Prepare for the Future of Shopping Malls" blog series: