By Barbara Pronin
Business analysts have been saying for years that shopping malls are a dying breed. But retailers are fighting back with some unusual shopping opportunities.
“Put your shoes on and head to the mall,” suggested retail trend-watcher Allie Eberle. “You may be surprised at what you find.”
Eberle mentioned the five top trendy business outlets you may find coming soon to your local mall:
Man Cave Pedis – Just in time for holiday gift card-giving come spas for men providing manicures and pedicures in a man-friendly environment featuring masculine designs, deep leather loungers, and flat screen TVS showing sports.
Pop-up stores –They may feature gourmet chocolates, upscale clothing boutiques, or European cutlery or leather goods. They settle in the mall for a couple of months to introduce new products to American consumers. Then they’re gone in two or three months, hoping consumers will seek their inventory online while they make room for other pop-up ventures.
Airport mini-spas – Patterned after the ones becoming popular in major airports, these mini-spas offer impromptu hairstyling, cosmetic re-dos, manicure and massage services guaranteed to get you out and on your way in 30 minutes or less.
Crossover stores – Like bookstores selling coffee, these enterprising retailers invent clever crossover services like jewelers selling leather goods, wine shops offering gourmet foods, or cigar stores providing instant shoe repairs.
Techie try-outs – Believe it or not, sales of product at these grown-up toy stores are not the main objective. They are in the mall to let you meet and greet the latest electronic gadgets, try out the latest video games before buying, or help grandma learn to use an iPad – the theory being that if you like what you see, you can buy now or look for a deal online.