Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's A Long Way Back From The Abyss - How To Save Your Shopping Mall

The government ‘Retail Sales’ stats chart (below) tells the overall industry story – actually, it’s worse if you adjust for 12.6% core retail sales currently being diverted from the malls in 2010 via online shopping.  And this online sales drain is projected to grow to 35% by 2020 - who will be left in the malls then?

Given all things, shopping malls have a huge hill to climb.  Truly an industry visionary is needed to turn the tide.... and it literally means 'thinking outside the box'.

Shopping malls are essentially big boxes built beside major vehicle traffic byways and highways and contain (hopefully) all your favorite stores and restaurants...or at least enough to cause you to get out of your easy chair, into your car (on on the bus) and make your way through the traffic and the parking lots to see what's new...and buy something.

Your other choice to shop is online...and that's what is so scary for owners and developers of shopping malls.  The trickle of online shopping in 1998 has turned into a torrent in 2010 - and soon will become a raging tsunami by 2020.  What does this mean for malls?  It means they need to find new ways to lure shoppers into their big boxes - and not just for entertainment - the bottom line for mall owners is on-site retail store sales.

Retailers are happy if you buy in-store and/or online - either way is a sale to their head office.  But only in-store purchases benefit the malls.

Retailers are busily upgrading their e-commerce sites to respond to burgeoning interest in shopping online. Problem is - 30% of all online purchases are returned.  Big cost to retailers and big hassle for customers.  No, it's not a savings to the retailer (or convenient for the customer) to have to go to the store to return the online purchase - although the retailer hopes you will (so you will buy something else while you're there).

How can malls make shopping more convenient, fun, hassle-free and relevant for you - the consumer?  Glad you asked!

What if you could browse local stores online and decide what you want to buy - then place your order online and get it delivered within 30 to 45 minutes (or whenever else you specified) instead of 3 to 10 days?  What if it cost you less delivered this way than if you went to the store yourself to get it?

That's the basis of our ROOF (Rapid Online Order Fulfillment) program now being rolled out across the country by in partnership with shopping mall owners as a new way to increase in-store sales while accommodating online shoppers.  Participating malls and stores will be distributing FREE Delivery Passes and many will be offering Customer Delivery Discounts + Online Passes you can print and redeem in-store for special deals.

We'll soon be announcing the "ROOF" mall locations via Twitter and on this blog as well as our website

You can help get your mall to offer ROOF faster - email your request to We Want ROOF NOW!  Tell us the name of your mall (including city and state).  We'll let you know their scheduled Opening Day.

Register yourself on as a Member (it's FREE to join) in your local Area.  We'll send you updates by email about Opening Day of ROOF in your local mall plus a VIP invitation to Opening Day Festivities!  Bonus for Members: When ROOF opens in your mall, you can transition to Advantage Membership that includes a 10% discount on all items you order for delivery via site PLUS you can choose your Favorite CyberValet Shoppers.  Membership has its privileges.

Together, we can save your favorite mall from the abyss and your neighborhood store owners will love you for it - including Grocers, Pharmacies, Retailers, Restaurants and Fast Food outlets.

And we promise our CyberValet Shopper Team will look after your local shopping needs with tender loving care - guaranteed!

Cheers !