MANILA — SM Supermalls is integrating new design features to keep up with the changing shopping behaviors due to the pandemic, SM Supermalls President Steven Tan told ANC.
Tan said SM has introduced a new kind of dining ambiance where "you have the comfort of air-conditioning yet the safety of al fresco dining."
Consumers can enjoy higher ceilings, trees and more plants inside the malls when dining in, he said. These are integrated into new malls and will be part of the design in future outlets, he added.
“We will make sure it is worth your while when you visit an SM mall,” Tan said.
In the future, shopping is likely to be a mix of online and offline as both channels have thrived despite the lifting of mobility restrictions, Tan said.
Consumers relied heavily on online shopping during the pandemic, but foot traffic in malls surged after government eased restrictions, he said.
"Immediately, it had an uptick and already starting around July, August, and September we are already surpassing the 2019 numbers. So I think the future of the malls would be like we have the option to do it online and to do it offline. At the end, it’s the consumer who is king, they get to choose," Tan said.
SM is also optimistic about continued mall growth as Filipinos prefer "experiential shopping" that cannot be achieved online, Tan said. It opened 4 malls this year, and 3 malls last year. SM also aims to open 4 malls in 2023, 5 in 2024 and 6 in 2025, he said.