5 Businesses That Can Exploit the Changing Retail Mall Market

Malls are undergoing a significant and rapid change. As the way consumers shop changes, malls are losing the big department stores that were their traditional long-term tenants. While that news isn’t great for mall owners, it can be good news for small business owners.

Vacant retail space in malls is detrimental to communities, which lost jobs for residents, as well as income from retail sales tax. Mall owners as well as city leaders, of course, want to fill these empty spaces.

Here are 5 things Global Resources LLC experts predict will fill vacant mall space, and ways both retail and non-retail businesses can take advantage of them.

Rental or Resale Shop

According to research, alternatives to traditional retail (rental and resale) will take billions of dollars in spending from traditional retail channels by 2023. While rental and resale businesses may not make enough money to support rents in large shopping centers, open spaces in strip malls could mean greater opportunity.

Pop-up Shops

Pop-up stores in malls and shopping centers will become increasingly popular as a method of satisfying consumers’ desire for new experiences. If you own an eCommerce business, you could use a pop-up shop to link up with local customers in person, build excitement about a new product line or limited-term product release, or satisfy the demand for your product/service during the holidays.


Limited-time events are another way malls will use empty space. Both retail and non-retail businesses can exploit this trend. For example, an apparel retailer could host a back-to-school fashion show for youngsters. There are ways for you to find out what events are planned at your local mall and how your business could be a part of them.

Service Businesses

Consumer spending on products (as opposed to services) dropped significantly between 2000 and 2017. This will most likely continue later than 2020 since consumers will spend billions of dollars more on discretionary services. Generally speaking, more malls will fill vacancies with service providers so shoppers can handle more of their needs with one trip. Malls with mixed-use retail and residential space offer a great deal of potential for service businesses. Those residents need services such as hair and nail salons, pet grooming services, and more.

Office Space

Certain empty spaces in shopping centers will be converted to offices or co-working spaces. This could be an opportunity for you to buy desirable commercial office space. The convenience of working in a mall location could even help you attract and keep employees.

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