Shopping centre statistics & trends | Clear Channel
University of Hull displaying an advert on a digital shopping centre screen

Shopping centre trends and statistics all marketers need to know

Shopping centres play an important role in the overall retail landscape, as one of the three main shopping destinations alongside high streets and supermarkets. Accordingly, they should be firmly on the radar for advertisers looking to reach audiences in retail settings.

We’ve collected some of the most insightful shopping centre statistics and trends here, to give you a better understanding of what makes them important to consumers and advertisers alike.

8 shopping centre statistics

From London to Manchester, shopping centres are a core part of the retail experience in cities and towns across the UK. These eight statistics all demonstrate how they represent a great opportunity for marketers looking to reach their audiences:

  • 57% of people visit a shopping centre at least once a month

Online shopping might have changed the overall retail landscape, but that doesn’t mean traditional physical retail is history. In fact, research shows that 57% of people visit a shopping centre at least once a month, and 47% visit at least once a week. 

And it’s not just older shoppers who are still interested in going out to shop – 95% of Gen Z consumers have visited a shopping mall in the last three months. In other words, shopping centres are still an integral part of the overall retail experience, and therefore well worth considering as advertising opportunities.

  • 10% of annual retail spend is attributed to just nine retail occasions

Retail is a year-round industry, with upwards of £300 billion spent every year in the UK. But a huge 10% of that – £1 in every £10 spent – can be attributed to just nine key shopping occasions during the year, highlighting that there are certain periods that marketers need to pay the most attention to. 

The nine key occasions revealed in our Retail Occasions insight series are Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, summer, the back-to-school period, Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas. These periods see an increase in all retail activity, including shopping centre footfall, highlighting a big opportunity for advertisers looking to maximise their ROI.

  • Fashion, health, and beauty is the biggest shopping centre spend category

Shopping centres comprise shops covering diverse retail categories, from groceries to electronics. However, an analysis of spending habits in two of London’s biggest shopping centres – Hammerson Brent Cross and Westfield – found that fashion, health, and beauty was the biggest retail category by spend.

That insight isn’t particularly surprising, but it’s great news for advertisers looking to deploy contextually relevant fashion, health, or beauty advertising campaigns in shopping centres. Knowing that a significant portion of impressions will come from shoppers who already have relevant shopping intent indicates a great opportunity for high-impact ads.

  • Gen Z and millennial consumers make 51% of their retail purchases in-store

Millennials are the largest generation by population size in the UK, and Gen Z will be the second largest soon enough. Accordingly, they’re two of the most important generations for marketers to consider in their campaigns, representing a large portion of the population’s total spending power.

And, although both generations are more in tune with digital retail spaces than their forebears, they still consider physical retail spaces like shopping centres as vital. Our research found, for example, that 51% of purchases made by Gen Z and millennial consumers are in-store.

  • 81% of Gen Z and millennial consumers think shopping malls are a good place to learn about new products and brands

Interestingly, Gen Z and millennials don’t just consider shopping malls as a place to buy products – 81% of this cohort also see them as a good place to learn about new products and brands5

That should be of note to advertisers looking to reach new audiences, indicating that shopping centre advertising offers an opportunity to put product-centric ads in front of an audience that is actively willing to engage with and learn from them.

  • Gen Z and millennial consumers are more open to seeing ads in shopping centres than online

On the same topic of Gen Z and millennial consumers’ eagerness to learn about new products and brands in shopping centres, we also found that 7/10 people are specifically open to seeing Out of Home adverts in the retail setting5

That statistic is particularly interesting when compared to their opinions on social media ads, which only 5/10 of Gen Z and millennial respondents said they were open to seeing. This data shows that OOH advertising in shopping centres is a great way to capture more attention from a Gen Z or millennial audience.

  • 65% of Gen Z and millennial consumers are more likely to buy products they see advertised in shopping centres

Not only are Gen Z and millennial consumers more open to seeing ads in shopping centres than they are on social media and other channels, they’re also more likely to buy the products they see advertised in shopping centres.

In fact, 65% of them are more likely to choose a product they’ve seen advertised in a shopping centre versus an alternative5. That highlights the potential value that can be unlocked through OOH advertising in shopping centres.

  • 40% of shoppers only decide what to buy at the point of purchase

Shopping centres are destinations that encourage exploratory shopping, evidenced by the fact that 40% of shoppers in malls only decide what they want to buy when they reach the point of purchase. 

This positions advertising in shopping centres as a particularly valuable way to influence consumer spend, activating audiences while they’re in close proximity to stores.

3 shopping centre trends

The story told by the statistics above – centred around the idea that shopping centres still hold an important place in the retail sector and that they represent a great opportunity for advertisers – is reinforced by three unfolding shopping centre trends:

  • Shopping centres have a place in the future of retail

While the statistics above have already made clear that shopping centres, and physical retail locations at large, are still highly relevant in a world with online shopping, it’s worth reiterating. 

Most importantly, it’s clear that younger generations (Gen Z and millennials) still see the unique value shopping centres offer compared to online stores. 43% choose to shop there so that they can see or hold products in-person, for example, and 50% prefer to purchase in-store because it’s less hassle than doing it online⁵.

  • The shopping centre is now a multi-functional space

A big part of the reason shopping centres will continue to be an important part of the retail sector heading into the future is that they’re transforming into spaces people visit to do more than just shop.

As well as researching products, consumers go to shopping centres to eat, meet friends or family, watch films, and more¹. This is important for advertisers to understand because it broadens the audiences that they can feasibly reach with OOH advertising in shopping centres.

  • Multichannel technology-driven experiences are growing in popularity

Finally, like every other sector, retail is being revolutionised by the potential that new technologies offer. The shopping centre retail experience is already being boosted by the integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tech, for example, and this trend is likely to continue.

Advertisers can join the movement, too, by creating shopping centre ads that take advantage of tech like AR overlays or QR code activations that create multichannel experiences. 

If you want to learn more about how you can reach your audience through impactful OOH advertising in shopping centres, get in touch with us today.

01  Start today

It’s as easy as that!

Looking to discuss Out of Home advertising in your local area? Please give us a call or fill in our form and we will get back to you shortly.