Friction is Killing Malls

How pandemic SOPs are killing malls.

Friction is Killing Malls

The appeal of malls is that you have a variety of shops that you can hop from on the other easily and happily. However, pandemic SOPs is killing that very feature. Registration and temperature check is one thing but queueing up to enter is a real pain.

The variety of choice in malls used to mean that you can look at various options accross various shops before making a purchase. However, queuing up for every shop is a real friction and you want to avoid queuing for the same store twice.

Sometimes the friction occur even before you set foot in the mall. In red zones, it's highly discouraged from bringing kids so those without childcare options can't go. Even if they can go the visit will be cut short.

Customers behaviour at malls are changing as they are more likely to go to stores they already familiar with. The high level of friction will discourage them from exploring other stores.

As such, smaller and less renowned stores will suffer. When they are closed, the mall will receive less rental revenue. A sparsely populated mall will also drive down the revenue of the remaining tenants. If nothing is done, the mall could really enter into a death spiral.