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Cashing in on culinary experiences

October 24, 2017

Space dedicated to food and beverage (F&B) within malls is now up 5% from a decade ago, and that may reach 20% by 2025. But why the shift to foodie destinations?

Well, the retail industry is undergoing a transformation driven by consumers, who are demanding more from their retail experiences. For an increasing number of consumers, particularly millennials, time is more valued than stuff. Shopping centers now need to be destinations in their own right, and offer an experience beyond pure retailing to compete for the consumer’s precious time. And that’s where F&B and entertainment come into play.

JLL’s latest report found that more than 40% of malls are upgrading their F&B options,and of those 55 percent also added entertainment offerings for the ultimate indulgence.

Malls are creating new centralized F&B options and revamping existing food courts for modern tastes. This means adding new fast casual options and modernizing seating areas to feel less like the food courts of yesterday, and more like the food halls of tomorrow.

One of the most expensive mall renovations to date is the Westfield Century City in Los Angeles. Westfield modernized the mall with $1 billion worth of investments and focused on F&B with the first West Coast Eataly, an Italian marketplace concept with a global footprint.

Key aspects of renovation:

  • F&B: Eataly, Din Tai Fung, La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Shake Shack, Compartes Chocolatierm MidiCi, and Gelson’s grocery store
  • Notable retailers: Gloveworx, Equinox, Ted Baker, Cole Haan, Tumi, and Bonobos
  • Entertainment: the Atrium, an events and entertainment space, and AMC Theatres

Owner GGP Inc., has taken Oakbrook Center in Oakbrook, Illinois, co-owned with CalPERS, through a series of renovations since the closing of Bloomingdale’s home store in 2012. The former space was redeveloped into smaller footprints for six smaller tenants including Lululemon, the Container Store and Tommy Bahama. And most recently, a $50 million renovation makes space for new entertainment venues and F&B destinations.

Key aspects of renovation:

  • F&B: The District, a 14,000 square foot dining destination including Potbelly, Cilantro Taco Grill, Stans Donuts, and Freshii
  • Entertainment: KidZania, coming 2019; AMC Theatres with reclining seating; Creation of the Village Green which hosts a free family movie night, Fine Art Shows, and holiday fun for the whole family including Santa, and ice skating rink and unique artisan shops

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