Supergraphics, banners, wall graphics, floor graphics, booth signage, and more. Shopping malls are using all the resources in the large format printing toolkit to reinvent themselves and stage a comeback in the post-pandemic world.
In a study titled “The Future of the Mall,” Deloitte (one of the most important management consulting companies in the world) has identified five critical changes malls must make to adapt to the “new normal” now that COVID-19 restrictions are being eased.
The study is based on data of Canadian retail, but the conclusions can be applied to malls everywhere. These five challenges touch upon different aspects of shopping malls, but they have one thing in common: large format printing is key to implement all of them.
Increase Safety and Convenience
The first step malls should take to adapt to the new circumstances is to focus on cleanliness, safety, and convenience. Customers need social interaction, but they also demand a safe environment with all prevention measures in place. These are some large format products that can help achieve this goal:
- Social distancing signage (vinyl signs, wall graphics, floor graphics, chair dividers, etc.)
- Signage that reminds customers about hand sanitizing and proper mask use.
- Hand sanitizer stations.
- Point of sale/Point of purchase displays to indicate areas where customers can pick up the products they order online.
Rethinking the Role of Stores
Brands are rethinking the way stores should work. In their quest to optimize space and enhance the interplay between online and physical experience, booth signage, props, and posters can prove extremely useful.
Another relevant factor is that consumers are more informed than ever, sometimes even more so than the salespeople themselves. Supergraphics, informative signage, floor graphics, and wall graphics can help create a memorable experience for this new type of customer.
The Food Revolution
Food will be one of the anchors of malls in the near future. It makes sense since visiting a restaurant is a social experience that cannot be replicated online.
However, in order to fulfill this role, the idea of restaurants in malls must evolve beyond the old concept of food court. Environments and experiential marketing are the ideal way to create an experience so unique that becomes a reason to visit a shopping mall.
Additionally, large format printing products such as chair dividers and social distancing signage will be essential to create a safer experience for customers who visit restaurants.
Even before the pandemic hit, embracing technology was one of the most important challenges for shopping malls. This need is now more pressing, as consumers are increasingly relying on the internet and social media to make decisions.
These are some of the ways supergraphics and large format printing products can be deployed to create a more digital-friendly experience in shopping malls.
- “Instagrammable experiences” using props, banners, wall/floor decals, or trade show signage.
- Pop-up displays, or even pop-up shops.
- Dedicated curbside-pickup parking stalls.
Supergraphics Can Help Malls Become a New Destination
Finally, the goal of malls should be to become a new meeting place for consumers in the post-COVID-19 world.
This transformation was already underway, but it will be accelerated by the pandemic. For example, American Dream, a 3-million-square-foot mall in New Jersey that has been opened in stages since October 2019, features a novel approach: its square footage is only 45% retail. The other 55% is devoted to entertainment options.
Events and large-scale art installations are some of the activities that consumers will be able to enjoy when they visit a mall. Mixed-use spaces, living-room spaces, and a variety of parking options will increase convenience and boost engagement.
With its versatility and ability to capture the imagination, large format products such as yard signs, window graphics, floor graphics, and vinyl banners will be some of the most powerful allies of malls as they navigate the next step in their evolution.
About CR&A Custom
At CR&A Custom we understand the needs of brands, retailers, and mall owners. Our large format printing solutions have taken businesses and brands of all types to new heights, and we look forward to doing the same for your company.
We are located at 312 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. Get a quote online or contact us today by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone (213-749-4440), or through our social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.