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Many retail groups are finding themselves on the end of a sharp increase of falling incidents. Investors are starting to panic as the threat of large lawsuits loom over them. Stock prices of these retail groups have been falling as a result. It’s said this fall could be making management nervous about the future of some groups. It is likely some high-level staff could be scapegoated and be replaced due to this.
The threat seems to be the result of more relaxed attitudes to accidents. While many mall retail groups have health and safety policy, it doesn’t seem like it is being followed. Management staff are reportedly annoyed and confused as to why this isn’t being taken more seriously. With slip and fall injuries increasing every month, it’s looking unlikely to turn around any time soon. A man in Toronto was involved in a freak accident where a slip on a wet floor sent him through the guardrail on the third floor of a mall. The man survived but with multiple fractures.
Consumer rights groups are calling for mall management to enforce safety policy in a stricter way. So far it doesn’t seem like much has changed as a result. Lobbyists for a group against red tape are currently attempting to remove some safety legislation. While these moves were formerly welcomed by the retail groups, the increasing injuries, and falling profits are making some change their minds. One unnamed senior source in a retail group says people are becoming increasingly wary of shopping in their malls. Combined with the online shopping surge, and it looks like some malls have to close entirely.
Slipping doesn’t seem to be the only concern either. A food court in a Detroit mall was found to be harboring a nest of rats. Shocking scenes unfolded as the rats were discovered during electrical maintenance. Around sixty rats scattered across the food court, all while there were still customers in the building.
Discarded food waste appears to be drawing the creatures onto the premises. Many malls have promised to step up waste removal procedures as a result. New measures include vacuum sealed garbage disposal as to not let out any scents to animals.
Malls are facing a battle for mindshare as consumers are starting to flock to online retailers instead. It used to be said the reasoning was because it was easier. It is now increasingly looking like it is safer too. One online retailer we spoke to sounded delighted that malls were having a hard time. They cited the requirement for competition and asked them to step their game up to match online retailers.
One place malls don’t seem to be failing is abroad. The expansion of malls in European and Asian countries has come as a surprise to retail groups. Many brands are now starting to extend into these countries to a great reception. It even seems some regular brands are now being seen as upmarket abroad as a result. Once the safety concern is addressed, malls may be back on the rise again.