REAL ESTATE

After retail, these are biggest drivers to shopping center traffic

BY Marianne Wilson

The food and beverage category and entertainment are taking up more and more of shoppers’ time — and money.

Since January, 81% of shopping center visitors have spent money on food and beverage services at a shopping center and 80% have purchased from traditional retailers, according to the International Council of Shopping Center’s Mixed Use survey. About two-fifths (38%) of U.S. adults now spend more on eating/drinking at dining establishments (including takeout). And 50% of all consumers want to see more dining options in centers; 40% want to see more leisure and entertainment options.

After all their eating and drinking, consumers are trying to remain healthy and are going to gym/fitness centers, yoga and cycling studios and visiting medical clinics in shopping centers. Just over one-third (36%) of consumers say they visit health/wellness facilities, such as gyms, yoga/cycling studios more now than two years ago, with the figure even higher for millennials (47%). And about one-quarter of consumers also say they would like more medical/health clinics (28%), personal care services (26%) and gyms/fitness centers (25%)

The survey also revealed that 79% of respondents have visited brick-and-mortar retailers the same amount or more over the past two years. But there are generational differences when it comes to what consumers have spent on at shopping centers since the start of 2019. Nearly nine of 10 (86%) baby boomers bought retail goods compared to 76% of Generation X and 75% of millennials.

In other key findings:

• More than two-fifths (44%) of consumers say that their shopping center visits today are more likely to include a variety of different activities compared to two years ago and close to half (45%) of U.S. adults would travel farther to a shopping center that offers a wider variety of tenants than one that is closer with less.

• Among non-retail tenants, 62% of consumers are driven to a shopping center by the leisure and entertainment venues. Nearly as many (56%) are enticed by the fast food/coffee shops, while 53% are drawn by the full-service, casual/fine dining restaurants and 51% by the limited-service, fast-casual dining establishments. To a lesser extent, but still influential are fitness & wellness facilities (47%), personal care services (46%) and professional services (42%). In addition to motivating shopping center

• The majority (78%) of adults say they would reside in a ‘live, work, shop, play’ community. The top reasons are convenience/efficiency (55%) and easier access to amenities as a result of aging (46%).

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