John B. Foreman

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The BOOK on HOW to create a District Mall

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Welcome to my opening page on District Malls. It has been said that evolution can be seen as the definition for a compounding formulae of anything that is currently normally.  I have always related that to exponential growth of monetary interest, but with respect to retail environments it can also be used to describe a diminishing factor. Whereas a Regional Mall appeared firstly on my horizon it was soon followed by a smaller version, a local District Mall. As the knowledge of ‘how to’ create an effective and financially economic structure for grouping a bunch of selected retailers under one umbrella so to speak was developing, so others were seeking cost effective minimalist variations for smaller catchment areas. Thus the District Mall was conceived, at least that is how I wish to recall its beginning. It was found through trial and error that context and content were truly different factors to contend with. A Main anchor was still a very important factor as was the balance of supporting specialty stores. The demographics for a District Mall were similar to the Regional Mall but with important variances. Once again much was gained from those early experiences by all players on the stage as this evolving retail market place continued to develop adding further to the burgeoning knowledge banks of its professional creators.

As new variations on the theme evolved so did the knowledge of the designers themselves, as I have said before it is our task to create a sustainable retail environment to adequately service the personal needs of the psychographic audience from the demographics of the target catchment area, no matter what size or ethnicity it is. This e-book not only shares with you the most important lessons learnt from my last forty five years but it will also assist the reader whether Mall Developer or Architect in developing a design format that works so that those early and costly mistakes of yesteryear are not repeated.

Variations of the Mall concept has occurred in India and China, and in the specialised markets of the Middle East where this has been widened to provide exhibitionistic halls of retail theatre to excite and energise the visitor, although one wonders in some instances how much is really effective or even essential as it is surely not cost effective on a ROI bases.

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