It’s been true for some time that there’s too much retail space. With the growth of e-commerce, the need for space won’t disappear but it will decline. To put it simply, we need fewer retail square feet. What will happen to the extra store space? Among other things, retail spaces will become cheaper and that will make it more possible to use them for other things. In Medellin, Colombia the Santafe Mall uses its interior space for events which change every two months. Pictured here is a “flower carpet” that coincided with the city’s flower festival. They have been so successful that the mall now charges a small admission price. Customers come because it’s a fun place to be and shopping is an add-on. Once you see how events can work in a retail space, it’s just a small leap to consider big, ticketed events like concerts and shows taking place in malls and big retail stores where some of the space has been converted to theatres. From there, it’s easier to think of retail stores being placed not just in malls but in communities that are built around them. In Alpharetta, Georgia, North American Properties has built a development called Avalon to include housing, dining and aspirational retailers. All that space is focused on consumers interested in a lifestyle of wellness, sustainability, technology and community. Department stores can also belong in that mix if they embrace products, events and an attitude with those values. Read more at Forbes.