Shopping Malls have undergone some challenges and changes recently.  St. Cloud State Economist King Banaian joined me on WJON.  He says the malls of the 70s and 80s often included movie theaters, restaurants and shops.  People would make a day of their experience.  Banaian indicates the challenge for mall operators now rests with how do you get people out of the house?  He says movie theaters have incorporated restaurant options and comfortable chairs to enhance the experience.

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Banaian says the mall operators that figure out what will get people out of the house and to their malls will survive.  The increased online shopping tendencies of many customers create challenges for malls.  Banaian says some high traffic spots in the country, like the strip in Las Vegas, have little trouble generating interest but locations off the beaten path have to give people a reason to come out that may not be all about shopping.  Banaian says malls need to figure out what people want while they are shopping to get them there and get them coming back.

The cost of a meal at fast food restaurants has largely gone up throughout the country.  Banaian explains the increase in minimum wage in many states and the higher food costs are triggering the increase.  He says going out to dinner used to be a special occasion where people would dress up but that has now changed.  Banaian explains the amount of people getting their meals out of the house is high and the increase in restaurants costs will affect a broader segment of the population.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with King Banaian it is available below.



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