Definition

lifestyle center

A lifestyle center is a shopping center, or mixed-use commercial development that combines retail with other services, such as restaurants, movie theaters, apartment complexes, medical services, and more. Lifestyle centers are the answer to consumers' increasingly discriminating and selective stance toward traditional retail in the age of the customer.

Lifestyle centers have grown in prominence as traditional enclosed shopping malls have declined in popularity. Part of the success of lifestyle centers is attributed to their diversity of offerings, which augments consumer experience beyond basic shirts-and-shoes retail shopping to a broader lifestyle experience.

Lifestyle centers often create this experience in part by generating a "town square" feeling, with shops lining opposite sides of the square, with places to converge, eat, and socialize in the middle.

Lifestyle centers are often geared toward high-end consumers and are located in affluent suburban or urban areas. While modern lifestyle centers are fairly new, traditional open-air or strip malls have been in existence for decades. Lifestyle centers attempt to draw consumers to by providing a more comprehensive and unique customer experience.

New technologies, such as mobile devices, Wi-Fi networks, mobile wallet software and Beacon sensors, consumer personalization and location-based services have become increasingly important to lifestyle centers, enabling consumers to browse the Web while at a lunch table or to check shopping cart items online when they are in a store. Retailers are also seeing the importance of using Beacon mobile wallet technology to encourage consumers to make purchases on-site or to mine their customer data to provide more targeted retail offers and information. Companies are also interested in using Beacon sensors to enhance on-site experience by providing push notifications to consumers or guiding them to certain aisles in a store. Mobile wallets and beacons may also help connect consumers with sales associates who can provide additional one-on-one information that can enhance the customer experience.

This was last updated in September 2015

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