Work Where You Shop: Why Workspaces are Now Located in Malls

First, there were art galleries. Then came pop-up stores and kiosks. Banks followed soon after. BPO companies have set up shop too. Keller Williams Ortigas-27C Realty, a real estate brokerage company, also operates in a mall–inside Robinsons Galleria Ortigas mall. Now, even more interesting tenants have moved into some of the most visited malls in the metro. 

Everywhere you turn, there are quaint shops offering more than just delectable treats and refreshing beverages. The list of offices and flexible workspaces in malls goes on. What used to be the destination for family bonding, get-togethers with friends, or even solo shopping sessions for some much-needed retail therapy, is now also the workplace of many. 

In cities such as Makati, Ortigas, Davao, and Cebu, many can easily say they work where they shop. But why did businesses and remote employees decide to flock to malls, and why are malls in on it? 

The answer is simple: these interesting workspaces invite foot traffic and, consequently, spending. 

Shops Enjoy Additional Visits

Mall operators have been implementing innovative leasing strategies in hopes of diversifying the tenants they attract. Though BPO companies are the easiest to notice, all thanks to their big offices anchored in malls, they are not the only businesses that have decided to move to the malls. And this move means added foot traffic to the area, especially before or after employee shifts. 

You have your average mall-goer, who maybe visits malls two to three times a week, and on top of that, you now have these tenants with employees or clients who are in the vicinity five workdays a week, if not more. When they finish work, they can choose to shop around before heading home, thanks to the transportation hubs that are also anchored to malls these days. These repeat visitors in shops can increase spending inside the mall. 

As malls become a lifestyle destination, the variety of shops that lease spaces in these developments have diversified, which gives a more rounded experience for people who are already in the vicinity for work. 

Restaurants Invite Repeat Customers  

Malls aim to attract everyone, from the younger crowds of friends who need hangout spots after classes, to those needing a quiet nook for after-school study sessions. Working professionals needing to unwind after work look for a venue for their social engagements. Filipino families also have a tradition of malling on the weekends, with the weekly grocery shopping included in their itinerary. 

One thing they all do when they get hungry? Scope the vicinity for good restaurants to try. While any restaurant in malls can get a good crowd on seasonal sales and during mealtimes, the added business from workspace clients is a boost to their bottom line.

Some mall tenants provide spaces that serve as an office for flexible employees and remote workers needing a quiet place conducive to work. The easiest, and perhaps most affordable, options are the coffee shops, such as the ever-present Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, along with more niche shops where one person may occupy a table for hours. There are also coworking spaces, which invite a variety of professionals and students with the capacity to spend on other restaurants after they have worked hard on getting their tasks done. 

More than 72% of clients of coworking spaces in malls, in particular, would consider visiting restaurants in-mall, according to research conducted by Colliers USA. 

Workspaces Are a Loyal Source of Mall Traffic 

The biggest draw of office spaces in malls, of course, is their regularity. Though it is not guaranteed that employees and clients will be eating or shopping at in-mall stores and restaurants every day, they are almost always back the next day as they go to work. They are regular viewers of revolving ads throughout the mall, and building their interest in a new store or product can be easier through a series of ads that foster brand recall. 

Add to this the prevalence of employees that live near work and you get a group of people whose lifestyle involves the malls, whether it’s for the more fun purchases or the more essential tasks. 

Malls have sources of entertainment and pockets of nature. Malls cater to the young and old, to new and repeat customers. Malls these days are no longer just destinations you visit for one hour because of one purpose. As crowds go from shopping to dining to watching movies to having fun, malls have truly become a lifestyle hub. And in the city, that could mean going to the malls to work, too. 

This is just one of the trends real estate has seen in 2019, and in 2020, the malls may continue to thrive with more fun tenants taking up leasable space. Through its Roundtable Series and Real Estate Conference, Lamudi’s The Outlook keeps everyone updated on the latest industry trends. Be in the know by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram


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