It’s true that adding dining and entertainment venues to malls and lifestyle centers can provide experiences not available online. But there are plenty of other good reasons to pursue this idea. Here’s my comment from a recent RetailWire discussion:
Malls and lifestyle centers need to drive “experiential” traffic, but not only to compete against online shopping. More importantly, they need to find ways to keep consumers onsite longer and to let malls return to some of their original purpose as the social hub of the suburbs. And, let’s face it: With the consolidation of mall anchors and struggles of specialty apparel chains, there is plenty of space available for this sort of repurposing.