A survey by Majid Al Futtaim’s City Centre brand has revealed what customers would like to see and experience at malls. According to the feedback received from the first round of the ‘Big City Centre Vote’, consumers expect malls that offer food, health and wellness, hybrid services and new experiences.
Launched in March 2022, votes for the survey were solicited either through an in-person activation or online at citycentrebigvote.com. The results enabled Majid Al Futtaim to curate next-generation, hyper-personalised and hyper-connected City Centre malls.
Fuad Sharaf, Managing Director, UAE Shopping Malls, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said:
“Through this ongoing campaign, we are giving our communities a seat at the boardroom table and enabling them to give us the insights and feedback we need to create ideal future mall spaces. We are continuing to host several community groups to truly enable customers to express their needs and look forward to reporting back as we take these results and implement them to create customised City Centres.”
Over 10,000 customers participated in the survey to share their preferences in dining, entertainment, shopping, occasions and future trends categories.
According to the survey, dining is the top priority, followed by experiential services, family activities and sustainable shopping.
“As a company pioneering experiences through our shopping malls, we are constantly being pushed to innovate our offering and revitalise our assets. Historical shifts in consumer behaviour coupled with the impact of the pandemic has us asking; what will drive people back into malls, what types of retail trends will develop, and what do communities want from their malls,”
When asked about dining experiences; casual dining was preferred by 35 per cent, outdoor dining by 24 per cent and fine dining by 19 per cent of respondents. While one third preferred to have more healthy F&B outlets available to them.
When asked about experiential services, results showed how people are increasingly looking for speed, convenience, technology, personalisation and a blend of physical and digital experiences.
“While the aim of the ‘Big City Centre Vote’ is to understand future preferences, it also looks to recognise topics which most matter to people. In this category, over a quarter of people so far have cited sustainability and the environment as a priority. Moreover, supporting local women’s brands is also being selected as the most important way City Centre malls can empower women creators,”
The transformation of retail presents new opportunities for malls to engage consumers throughout their decision journeys. Another developing theme of the ‘Big City Centre Vote’ showed that about 31 per cent people are looking for more family-orientated and children-dedicated spaces in a mall.
“We know consumers are looking for new points of engagement and authentic direct-to-consumer brands, but we wanted to dig deeper and really understand what our communities are looking for at their local community mall. So, in a momentous shift, we are putting the future direction of our City Centre malls brand directly into the hands of our customers,”
News Source: Gulf Business