Unanchored and anchored stores are also popular among consumers

A flagship store is a retailer that regularly attracts a large amount of consumer traffic. Flagship stores are traditionally department stores such as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and

. Consumers travel miles to shop at these retailers. Flagship stores are traditionally the first stop on a mall visit; it serves as the entrance to the mall.

The popularity of flagship stores is changing, as revealed by a national study sponsored by Glimcher Real Estate Trust. The survey of 3,334 consumers consists of 57% men and 43% women. The group is relatively young with 44% between 23 and 44 years old. Just over half (53%) earn between $25,000 and $75,000 per year. 80% of consumers buy with a family member or friends. In other words, shopping is above all a social activity! 64% of consumers spend up to three hours at the mall; 95% of the sample spend up to 5 hours at the mall. Consumers state that the two main reasons for shopping at the mall are shopping and researching fashion trends.

The results reveal that anchor and non-anchor stores possess equal power to attract consumer traffic to malls. Individual stores (43%) and department stores (43%) are cited as the first destination for consumers. Unanchored stores are becoming an important source of fashion, variety, and accessory products. Victoria’s Secret, Hot Topic, Aeropostale, Bath & Body and Lululemon are non-mainstay stores particularly popular with shoppers looking for fashion trends.

As consumers walk from non-pillar and pillar stores throughout the mall in search of the latest fashion trends, the entire mall benefits from this social change. For example, when fashion-oriented consumers visit their main store (anchor or not), they will likely visit the alternative stores. Weekend trips to the mall will likely increase; these trips will include family friends as our consumers like to socialize while shopping. As the variety of stores in the mall increases, the time our consumers spend in the mall increases.

Consumer attention on the mall is changing as non-mainstay and mainstay stores share the limelight as fashion trendsetters. Consumers and shopping centers are the winners of this evolution. Consumers benefit from a greater variety of shopping avenues; malls develop more interesting environments for shopping.