The shopping experience has been increasingly digitized in the past few years, allowing consumers to purchase and receive goods from the convenience of their homes without needing to enter physical stores. However, many consumers are now becoming tired of buying everything online and are starting to resume their traditional brick-and-mortar shopping habits.
A new survey revealed that despite the convenience of online shopping, many Americans still express a strong affinity for traditional brick-and-mortar malls. In fact, more than 60% of the respondents expressed their desire to see malls regain their former glory, illustrating a substantial amount of support for these versatile spaces that offer many experiences, including shopping, entertainment, socializing, and dining, among others.
Additionally, about half of the respondents claimed that they missed their mall visits, as they associate these trips with fond memories and experiences that online shopping can't replicate. This indicates a clear sign of nostalgia for the shopping mall culture, highlighting a considerable proportion of consumers who value the experiences and elements associated with physical shopping, such as the ability to try on items, immediate satisfaction of getting the item you wanted on the spot, physical browsing of interesting displays, and more.
What Can Happen When You're In The Mall
Over the years, malls have become popular destinations not just for shopping but also for leisure time and experiencing entertainment as they cater to a wide range of interests, thus attracting people from all walks of life. They also act as social hubs, providing a communal space for people to meet and hang out, as the aesthetically pleasing and climate-controlled environment of malls attracts those who wish to chat with friends, hold informal business meetings, or simply relax and watch the world go by.
But while the mall can be a wonderful place to shop, it can also be dangerous if you don't take precautions. There are all kinds of threats in the mall, which you may not immediately realize when you get wrapped up in all the distractions around you.
It is also all too easy to become disoriented and find yourself in a dangerous situation inside the mall where the worst thing you could do is freeze up or panic. To prevent this from happening, you need to arm yourself with enough knowledge so you will be prepared for any eventuality. Here are some of the most common hazards that can occur inside a mall and how to avoid them:
- Slip And Fall Accidents
Many areas in a mall tend to have wet or uneven surfaces, such as floors, stairs, and parking lots. These areas can become even more slippery during rainy days, when customers drag water, snow, or mud everywhere, possibly leading to a slip-and-fall accident.
Prevent this from happening to you by being mindful of signage indicating wet floors, uneven surfaces, or any other potential dangers. Additionally, you should always watch your footing while moving around, use handrails where available, and stay aware of your surroundings. In the event that you get hurt while inside the premises, it is best to contact a mall injury lawyer who can guide you on what to do in this situation.
- Tripping Hazards
Poorly maintained walkways and obstructions such as signage, merchandise, or debris can cause you to trip, especially if you are not paying attention to your surroundings while walking around the mall. Aside from these, there are also tiles, carpets, or mats around the mall that are not adequately secured, as well as failing electrical outlets or cords stretched across walkways, which can all present tripping hazards.
While the mall is mainly responsible for ensuring its customers' safety, you should also play your part in minimizing the danger to yourself. Firstly, as a customer, you must be aware of your surroundings while moving around and avoid walking while using a cell phone or becoming overly distracted by mall displays. Understandably, it can be difficult not to get immersed in store displays, text messages, or even enjoying some food while walking, but try your best to check where you're going and frequently look at the road in front of you to scan for potential hazards in your path.
- Poorly Maintained Escalators Or Elevators
Escalators and elevators often have potential safety issues and need regular maintenance to operate safely. When left in disrepair, they may present hazards such as abrupt stops, accelerated movement, or doors closing prematurely. Sometimes, the elevator car may not be perfectly level with the floor and can cause tripping for someone not paying attention to where they are going.
A missed step or sudden stop could lead to a fall, so one way of preventing or minimizing injuries to yourself is to be mindful when stepping on or off escalators and elevators. While on escalators, keeping a firm grip on handrails can provide stability and prevent falls should the escalator jerk or stall, and remember to watch out for closing doors when entering or exiting an elevator.
- Distraction Crimes
Shopping malls provide an environment rich in distractions, which makes customers more vulnerable to crimes like pickpocketing or purse snatching. In addition, poorly managed public areas or parking lots may create opportunities for more severe crimes, like assaults, especially when they see you wandering alone.
However, vigilant shopping behavior can discourage criminals from targeting you, so always stay alert wherever you go. Pay attention to the people around you, especially in larger crowds where pickpockets might operate, and keep expensive merchandise or large amounts of cash or cards out of sight to avoid drawing unnecessary attention.