The Mall Effect

In the offline retail world malls and departmental stores exist for four reasons:

  1. It is a cost effective alternative for a retailer (building stores for each brand is expensive)
  2. It is convenient because it saves the customer from making multiple trips
  3. It is easier to remember Macy’s than the 400 brands they carry
  4. It builds trust, I can be confident Macy’s extensively evaluates brands they carry

In the online world distances between stores is one url. This effectively eliminates the first two reasons why malls exist. Right now the entire ecommerce landscape is built on niches, we have specialty strollers and specialty bonsais, but will this soon change? In a world where distances disappear would customers want to find specialists or is mall-ification inevitable? I certainly don’t have the answer…. do you?

I present another perspective in The future of eTail article.

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