Tuesday, March 18

Malls, networking, and ready-to-go office space?

Pop-up stores became a thing in the late 90s. They were mostly specialty stores for holidays. We'd see kiosk and small free-standing independent and chain shopping areas in the wide aisles of the malls, too.

I rarely go to a mall though Woodfield Mall isn't that far from me. It's far enough and I really don't want to schlep all over the mall to try to find what I think I want. And I'm not a random window shopper so that part of a mall isn't appealing to me.

I started thinking about repurposing mall space after I read this article about the not-yet-demise of the American shopping mall. I think it's true that many of us used to go to shopping malls as a place to gather and hang out, to see and be seen. It wasn't really about the shopping at all.

"Ready-to-go" office space is a newer thing. Such space is ideal for start-ups and entrepreneurs who want and need office space but they're not sure how much they need or will need. Some offer a range of services while others offer only the basics.

So it occurred to me that perhaps some of that mall space could become ready-to-go office space. The space wouldn't have to be limited to office space, of course. Some of that space could become child care for those working in the office space or the shops or the food court. Some of that space could become workout places, yoga studios, massage therapy studios. Any hair salons might get more business. The services to support those using the office space could certainly grow and expand, and then there might be additional business for those pop-up stores.

The possibilities could be pretty interesting.

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