Easton Town Center Lays The Blueprint For The Modern Mall Experience

Easton Town Center Lays The Blueprint For The Modern Mall Experience

Easton Town Center Lays The Blueprint For The Modern Mall Experience 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

Over the years, consumers have migrated online, and most malls have failed to evolve fast enough to combat store closures and the decline in traffic. Once cultural and social epicenters of American retail, the traditional mall needs to evolve to exist. 

However, a few things can be learned from looking at one of the leading retail destinations, Easton Town Center. After more than two decades since it was first envisioned as a premier shopping destination, it continues to attract tens of millions of visitors annually with experiences that offer something for everyone. Curious how Easton has kept its pulse on the retail pace of innovation, our studio took a trip to view its newest development.

Coexisting Vs. Competing

Have you ever noticed how QSR brands like McDonald’s are often surrounded by Taco Bell or Burger King? In many malls, the same strategy applies. Brands placing their stores within steps of their competitors (or clustering), usually in an attempt to attract the same desired audience.

Rather than design an environment where brands compete, Easton has created a space for them to coexist. Restaurants, retailers, and entertainment are strategically aligned to keep customers moving from one experience to the next. Their newest development reinforces this harmonious mix to build a perfect partnership between brands.

Commitment to Lifestyle

Birthdays, holidays, and many events in between once encouraged consumers to make a trip to the mall. But with the convenience of e-commerce, these moments are no longer primary drivers. Where Easton wins is focusing less on retail and more on lifestyle. Businesses are headquartered there, nightlife thrives there, consumers dine there, and retailers are the cherry on top.

Easton’s versatility has propelled them to be a destination hotspot instead of a shopping obligation. The experiences are unique, driving continual community excitement and a true place to connect.

“Having experiences that people can’t do online (dining, drinking, as opposed to shopping) will draw more people into the retail by the fact that they’re already there.” – Annie Foertmeyer, Designer

Breaking the Mold

While retailers have shifted focus to more personalized in-store experiences, malls have still largely maintained trapped inside a cookie-cutter suburban time capsule. Driven to break the mold, Easton has embraced eclectic, artistic, and urban elements to continue to show the evolution of an environment. 

Their newest development brings the community to the forefront with plenty of room for guests to stop and relax, swing, sit by a campfire, view local murals, or enjoy a drink on a patio somewhere. Creating a place to be, but also be socially seen.

“Easton pushes past being a cash center for retail consumers. They offer experiences aimed at enriching people’s lives, like fitness & family events, art installations, unique dining experiences and hospitable social spaces”
– Laura Back, Designer

While Easton reigns as one of the greatest retail hubs, the primary focus has always been on the holistic experience it can offer to the guest. Which ultimately brings us to this question: Are malls really dying? Or is it just time to redefine and reinvent the space?

Curious to read more about other innovative retail concepts, check out our article Community Retail: The Lifestyle Center 2.0. It explores the eco-friendly retail campus Camp which brings together food, fashion, community, art, and music in a harmonious way. 

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