A lifestyle center is a shopping center or mixed-used commercial development that combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall with leisure amenities oriented towards upscale consumers.
Lifestyle centers, which were first labeled as such by Memphis developers Poag and McEwen in the late 1980sand emerged as a retailing trend in the late 1990s, are sometimes labeled "boutique malls". They are often located in affluent suburban areas.
The proliferation of lifestyle centers in the United States accelerated in the 2000s, with number going from 30 in 2002 to 120 at the end of 2004. Lifestyle centers are sometimes depicted as occupying the upscale end of the spectrum of commercial development, opposite to the outlet mall which typically caters with marked down prices.
Lifestyle centers typically require less land and may generate higher revenue margins, generating close to 500 dollars per square foot, compared to an average of 330 dollars per square foot for a traditional mall, according to the president of Poag and McEwen. Other advantages lifestyle centers have over traditional enclosed malls are savings on heating and cooling and quicker access for customers. Lifestyle centers typically look like strip shopping centers turned outside in, and the formal storefronts don't face parking areas like in strip centers, but landscaped park-like pedestrian areas, with storefronts facing each other across the pedestrian walkway or a low volume parkingless two-lane road. A two-lane road might go through the inside of the center