John B. Foreman

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Category Malls Preview

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PREVIEW: Category Malls

The following is a selection from Page 4 of this 32 Page e-book which also contains selected drawings.

Definition; This recent innovation in retail environments had not been defined at the time of writing, so we can expect it to evolve with refinement over time as a specialised mall that provides related goods and services generally under one category for its visitor. From time to time please check my website for FREE updates. A Category Mall is a special place of habitat and one that  provides its visitor with the widest possible selection of items that make up one simple
Category. It is just like having a normal mall category but separating it from the mainstream and placing in a new environment on its own. It is very possible that a new breed of Retail Designer will evolve to fulfill the specific needs of these malls, one that is  likely to have empathy with a specific category, such as an off-roader or a match racer.   

A Category Mall in the short term will also be the smallest of retail Malls, however, having made that statement one is reminded of the innovative Dragonmart in Dubai which is a venue for some four thousand retail and service outlets specifically for Chinese goods and services, or the Khan Murjan Arabian Souk also in Dubai at the Wafi Mall that specialises in all things Arabian. 

In India this retail difference is already at full steam with Auto-Malls whose retailers specialise in accessories and parts for motor vehicles and bikes, or Precious Stones-Malls that have up to forty retailers selling Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires and more, wholesale and retail, or Home Makers Malls that have an anchor and some twenty retailers with all things for the Home including real estate brokers, even Brownware and Whiteware Malls and of course for many years in Honk Kong, the ubiquitous electronics outlets have clustered together to form a specialised Category Mall. In some the opportunity to extend the offering to include F&B retailers would be an advantage that would keep shoppers on site for longer periods. 

Singapore and other Eastern capitals those electronics Malls are also commonplace. Other examples are Big Boys Toys (Cars, Boats, Jet Skis, parts), Activity Categories such as Camping, Outdoors, Ballet, Dance, Ice-skating, Roller-blade, Fishing, Shooting and all Sports equipment with associated Branded Clothing and Sports Support Aids, Outdoors activity centres, Garden and Landscape supplies and services Centres, DIY, home décor with building supplies, all are Category Malls in the making.

Few Category Malls at the time of writing this book had any real designed environment, even the latest Souks in Dubai fell short of a focused environment that fully embraced the Category with such embellishments as burning incense, local coffee brewing and other sense related assets. Another great reason for some Designers to specialise, I have.

A Category Mall seldom requires a full Psychographic study due to its ability to self serve through advertising its specialty, except one would not be wise to develop a water sports Mall in a waterless desert unless the underwritten intent was to provide that also. However due to (Category Mall) its specific focus it does need the Designer to be furnished with in depth relevant information on the likely marketplace to enable him to provide the right environment.

Category Malls in most countries can be developed within a retail zoned area but are obviously better suited to being adjacent to mixed use town planning zones so that it can not only satisfy the wants and needs of its own dedicated shoppers but also extend to the general marketplace as its audience.

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© 2008 John B Foreman, Auckland, New Zealand