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Michelle Tham

H+K Strategies

Goodbye Sears and Radioshack. Hello Apple, Samsung and digital services companies? Who run the malls?

As retailers struggle to find their footing in the spaces between e-commerce, brick-and-mortar and click-and-mortar, and as the pillars of mega malls like Sears and Radioshack shutter their stores, the future of malls is more uncertain than ever. From ‘showrooming’ to apps and services, malls are struggling to design their future. Will retailers step up and completely embrace technology to turn their stores into VR showrooms? Will consumers push back against hyper-connectivity and return to the comfort of brick-and-mortar experiences with Amazon opening its first brick-and-mortar store? Or are we missing the bigger picture? That the true revolution lies in having technology companies and telcos turn malls into massive tech playgrounds for services, apps and technology experiences that span the breadth of the most expensive to the most mundane and commoditised? Is the market really ready for a revolution or is it a case of the more things change, the more things stay the same?

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