Shopping Centers Today, Publish Date: March 1, 2018
Not long ago malls and shopping centers tended to brag about their retail menus. These days, however, it is increasingly common to see restaurants and recreational offerings get top billing in retail industry ad and marketing campaigns. From food courts to food halls, from indoor dining to outdoor eating areas, operators know they have to accommodate the rapidly changing tastes of today’s consumers if they are to thrive in this evolving landscape.
… Eating establishments were once little more than a subheading on the mall directory, or they were perhaps listed at the bottom of an ad, if they had a high-profile name. That has changed. Now the restaurant mix is vital to a mall’s marketing plan.
“In our industry, folks realize that restaurants can make or break a center — whether that’s a traditional indoor mall or a big Cheesecake Factory property like we have here at Fairview,” Wendy Ellis, marketing director of the Texas-based Lincoln Property Co.’s Fairview Town Center said. “They attract people to the center. They drive sales.”
… Meanwhile, across the country on the opposite coast, Matthew Hammond, a principal at the Southern California–based Coreland Cos. brokerage and property management firm, says he has observed the shift to nonretail and restaurant openings. Coreland’s 6 million-square-foot portfolio consists mainly of grocery-anchored shopping centers. “In 2017 over 70 percent of our deals were restaurants, fitness and services,” Hammond said. “Now you make it a healthy lifestyle type of center, whereas before, you’d go out and get the grocery store — or, on a larger project, you’d get a Macy’s or a Target. You’re basically creating your environment from the restaurants that you get, knowing what type of demographics you’re going to attract.”
…As Hammond put it: “It’s really the restaurants that drive the development,” he said. Thus, these days it seems the rest is just gravy.
For the compete article, go to Shopping Centers Today March edition.