Shopping malls are largely given a bad mainstream press because the perception is that they all house the same old stores and besides providing a place to shelter from the rain are believed to offer little else to the shopper.
We may have to think again if the research from retail location specialists CACI is true. In their recent Clone Towns research they sought to find the locations with the worst and best mix of stores - based on the level of large multiple operators present.
It turns out that some of the least cloned shopping areas outside of London are the malls. (See earlier Retailinsider.com post for the results that include London). In fact, three out of the top 10 areas from the research turned out to be shopping malls.
Top 10 Least Cloned Retail Footprints Outside London
2. Trafford Centre
There's no doubt that much work has been done by developers (especially Westfield) to create a more interesting environment that comprises a mix of independent retailers and more leisure/food operators.
Whether the inclusion of more of the former is down to a decision made on a new holistic approach or is a result of desperation by developers to fill empty units (who've therefore relaxed their covenant requirements) we'll all have our own views on that one no doubt.