top of page

Revolutionizing Retail: How to Design Malls for the Modern Consumer

With online shopping becoming more and more popular, what is happening to malls? And why is the design important?

First, let’s go over a few facts.

Did you know in 2015, e-commerce made up only 7.4% of total retail sales worldwide? And by 2020, that percentage was up to 17.8% and is continuing to grow. It is estimated that by 2026 24% of retail sales worldwide are going to be done online. That’s nearly ¼ of the retail sales. (Statista, 2022)

What does this have to do with design?

Let me explain.

Over the years shopping malls have been hangout spots for teens and a convenient way to buy all the stuff you need without having to brave the cold or drive between stores.

But now, with all that online, malls don’t only want to become, but now must be something more. You have food delivery, that comes straight to your door. You can order virtually anything on Amazon and get it the next day, to your door. Some stores even offer grocery deliveries, to your door.

So why would you leave your house?

Exactly my point. Designing malls have become more than just putting a bunch of stores together in one building.

Now, we must design with the thought that it isn’t the stores, necessarily, that is going to bring in foot traffic.

Shopping malls are having to look at other options. Food, entertainment, anything really that will draw families, teens, adults, and all age groups to ‘have fun’ rather than shop. And there must be something for all ages.

And because of this, you must ensure all age groups are taken care of.

  1. Fun activities or play areas for young children.

  2. Age-appropriate rides, movies, or anything else you might think of for the tween ages.

  3. Stores, movies, rides, and more for the teens

  4. And then all that for adults as well

The other factor to take into consideration is that younger children/tweens are often there with a guardian. Or spouses. Or older grandparents are there with their grandchildren. And these people might not necessarily be in for the rides and entertainment, but they may need a place to sit.

So, lobby areas or soft seating areas are also very important, to make sure all members can be comfortable.

Areas of seating next to the rides or play areas. As well as scattered throughout the mall for when you really don’t want to go into that store with your friend.

So, there you go. A few things to keep in mind while designing a shopping mall. Food, entertainment, and of course soft seating...!

Designing a mall and wanting some help with the seating areas? Reach out for a quote today –


Bluebeam, I. (Director). (2021). The Future of Malls: Retail Shop Design Will Change [Motion Picture]

Raouf, H. (2020, March 9). How to Design a Shopping Mall. Retrieved from LinkedIn Newsletter:

Shah, R. (n.d.). Mall Design :10 things to remember while designing shopping malls. Retrieved from Rethinking The Future:

Statista. (2022, July). E-commerce as percentage of total retail sales worldwide from 2015 to 2021, with forecasts from 2022 to 2026. Retrieved from Statista:


bottom of page