Read or view the case study in Chapter 16: ?Mall of America: Shopping and a Whole Lot More,? pages 428?429. Answer the following questions (located at the end of the case study) using the attached case study template.
Why has the Mall of America been such a marketing success so far?
What (a) retail and (b) consumer trends have occurred since Mall of America was opened in 1992 that it should consider when making future plans
(a) What criteria should Mall of America use in adding new facilities to its complex? (b) Evaluate (1) retail stores, (2) entertainment offerings, and (3) hotels on these criteria.
What specific marketing actions would you propose that Mall of America managers take to ensure its continuing success in attracting visitors (a) from the local metropolitan area and (b) from outside of it?
Located in a suburb of Minneapolis, Mall of America (www.mallofamerica.com) is the largest completely enclosed retail and family-entertainment complex in the United States. ?We're more than a mall, we're a destination,? explains Maureen Cahill, executive vice president at Mall of America. More than 100,000 people each day?40 million visitors each year?visit the one-stop complex offering retail shopping, guest services, convenience, a huge variety of entertainment, and fun for all. ?Guest services? include everything from high school classrooms to a wedding chapel.
THE CONCEPT AND CHALLENGE
The idea for Mall of America came from the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada. The Ghermezian Brothers, who developed that mall, sought to create a unique mall that would attract not only local families but also tourists from the Upper Midwest, the nation, and even from abroad.
The two challenges for Mall of America: How can it (1) attract and keep the large number of retail establishments needed to (2) continue to attract even more millions of visitors than today? A big part of the answer is in Mall of America's positioning??A place for fun!?
THE STAGGERING SIZE AND OFFERINGS
Opened August 1992 amid tremendous worldwide publicity, Mall of America faced skeptics who had their doubts because of its size, its unique retail-entertainment mix, and the nationwide recession. Despite these concerns, it opened with more than 80 percent of its space leased and attracted more than 1 million visitors its first week.
Mall of America is 4.2 million square feet, the equivalent of 88 football fields. This makes it three to four times the size of most other regional malls. It includes four anchor department stores: Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Sears. It also includes more than 520 specialty stores, from Armani Exchange to DSW Shoe Warehouse. Approximately 36 percent of Mall of America's space is devoted to anchors and 64 percent to specialty stores. This makes the space allocation the reverse of most regional malls.
The retail-entertainment mix of Mall of America is incredibly diverse. For example, there are more than 165 apparel and accessory stores, 14 jewelry stores, and 26 shoe stores. Two food courts with 27 restaurants plus more than 20 other restaurants scattered throughout the building meet most food preferences of visitors. Another surprise: Mall of America is home to many ?concept stores,? where retailers introduce a new type of store or design. In addition, it has an entrepreneurial program for people with an innovative retail idea and limited resources. They can open a kiosk, wall unit, or small store for a specified time period or as a temporary seasonal tenant.
Unique features of Mall of America include:
Nickelodeon Universe?, a seven-acre theme park with more than 30 attractions and rides, including a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and games in a glass-enclosed, skylighted area with more than 400 trees.
Sea Life? Minnesota aquarium, where visitors are surrounded by sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles; can adventure among fish native to the north woods; and can discover what lurks at the bottom of the Mississippi River.
Entertainment choices that include a 14-screen theater, A.C.E.S. Flight Simulation, the Amazing Mirror Maze, and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf.
The House of Comedy, featuring comedians from Last Comic Standing, Saturday Night Live, and Just for Laughs.
As a host to corporate events and private parties, Mall of America has a rotunda that opens to all four floors facilitating presentations, demonstrations, and exhibits. Organizations such as PepsiCo, Visa-USA, and Ford have used the facilities to gain shopper awareness. Mall of America is a rectangle with the anchor department stores at the corners and amusement park in the skylighted central area, making it easy for shoppers to understand and navigate. It has 12,550 free parking ramp spaces on site and another 7,000 spaces nearby during peak times.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is a market with more than 3 million people. A total of 30 million people live within a day's drive of Mall of America. A survey of its shoppers showed that 32 percent of the shoppers travel 150 miles or more and account for more than 50 percent of the sales revenues. Located three miles from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Mall of America has a light-rail service from the airport and downtown Minneapolis available.
Tourism accounts for 4 out of 10 visits to Mall of America. About 6 percent of visitors come from outside the United States. Some come just to see and experience Mall of America, while others take advantage of the cost savings available on goods (Japan) or taxes (Canada and states with sales taxes on clothing).
: FACING THE CHALLENGES
Where is Mall of America headed in the future
? ?Mall of America is one of the most recognized brands in the world,? Cahill says. ?They might not know where we are sometimes, but they've heard of Mall of America and they know they want to come.
?What we've learned since 1992 is to keep Mall of America fresh and exciting,? she explains. ?We're constantly looking at what attracts people and adding to that. We're adding new stores, new attractions, and new events.? For example, the mall holds more than 400 events each year including book signings, an inventors fair, fashion shows, and live Cirque du Soleil performances.
Mall of America announced a plan
for a 5.6 million-square-foot expansion, the area of another 117 football fields, connected by pedestrian skyway to the present building. ?The second phase will not be a duplicate of what we have,? Cahill says. ?We have plans
for boutique, family, and business hotels, 20,000 square feet of event space, an ice rink, a spa and wellness center, museum-quality exhibit space, and new restaurants and retail offerings.?
The expansion is expected to attract an additional 20 million visitors annually. In addition, the development is designed to exceed environmental certification standards. All of these new additions and the many offerings of the current mall reinforce that Mall of America is a shopping destination and a whole lot more!
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