One attraction still drawing shoppers to malls: Food 40 percent of consumers today will pick a mall to visit primarily based on the restaurants located there

Mall owners say they've been steadily increasing the percentage of retail square footage at any given property dedicated to food and beverage, creating new food halls. The push to make these changes is compelling, industry experts have told CNBC. The goal is to drive traffic to the property and keep shoppers lingering longer.

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CNBCMichael McNaughton
Turning malls into mixed-use centers requires a new value calculation

Every mall-to-mixed-use transformation begins with a detailed market analysis, with the goal of determining what new uses and tenants will be added, based on market needs. Just because you recognize the potential value of a mixed-use environment does not relieve you of the need to be thoughtful and strategic in how to go about it. It is extraordinarily risky to simply throw something at the wall and see what sticks. A mall redevelopment often requires a significant investment, and you cannot risk getting it wrong.

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