Bay Area malls making big changes to lure online shoppers

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In the 2004 movie "Mean Girls," the shopping mall was where the cool kids hung out. But for Gen Z, not so much.

"I don't go to the mall anymore. I don't even go to the supermarket that much. I order things online," said Benia, a junior at the University of South Florida.

You won't find a food court on Amazon, but it will bring you anything you want. Researchers say young people are virtually all in.  

"With the Gen Z group, you now have fewer than 10% of purchasing happening in stores, a lot more online purchasing is happening now," explained Prof. Robert Hooker of the USF Muma College of Business. 

Bay Area malls are making changes to keep up with trends.

Tampa's Westshore Plaza plans a hotel and an outdoor-style shopping area, along with apartments and office spaces. Just down the road, International Plaza plans to build a bowling alley and a movie theatre.

At University Mall, construction crews are working to transform the property into a research and innovation village with health and fitness studios and apartments.

"It's pedestrian walkways, healthy eating, these sorts of things to bring customers in and create this high-density population area," said Hooker. "They're scrambling to figure out this 'anytime, anywhere' shopping behavior."

He says, within 10 years, consumers will expect 40% of their purchases to be delivered in less than two hours.

He says malls are being challenged to become different from the shiny destinations of a generation past.