Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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FOOD & BEVERAGE 276 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 an "experience," 70 percent of millenni- als' shopping still takes place in-store, according to a CBRE study, which is en- couraging for retail owners. Understanding consumers' likes and desires is the first step to establishing a dynamic retail center, but it is crucial to also know how consumers spend their money. THE FORMULA FOR THE BEST TENANT MIX The key to retail center success is en- suring the center is filled with consumer activity at all hours of the day. However, to determine the formula to achieve the greatest return on investment (ROI), it is essential to understand the types of con- sumer buying behaviors and how that im- pacts F&B options. When it comes to F&B, there are a wide range of options to choose from, includ- ing fast-food, grab-and-go coffee shops, quick-service restaurants, fast-casual, family-style sit-down restaurants, fast-fine, buffets, pubs, lounges, taverns and bars and fine dining. It is no surprise to hear the fast-casual restaurant sector is gaining market share. Fast-casual eateries typical- ly offer a sit-down atmosphere with the same ease and expediency as a fast-food restaurant at a similar price point. The presentation and décor of these restau- rants is typically more trendy, which pres- ents an "Instagrammable" opportunity for consumers. Furthermore, food halls, a hip, upscale collection of eateries, (not to be confused with mall food courts) are now rapidly growing in popularity as well as they provide an experience where consumers are able to select from a wide assortment of craft eateries. The tenant mix goes further than simply including different F&B options. It's im- portant to include a collection of region- al and national F&B chains, "mom and pop" eateries and chef-driven restaurants to offer a great blend of options for con- sumers. The combination of these F&B options helps to draw in a range of con- sumer demographics, reaching a variety of consumer buying behaviors including impulse purchases, routine purchases and limited decision-making purchases, ultimately helping to keep people on the property longer. F&B and traditional retailers have a symbiotic relationship. If a consumer de- cides to visit a restaurant at a shopping center for a dining experience, they are more likely to also make an impulse, routine, or limited decision-making pur- chase. Conversely, a great mix of retail- ers can lead to the support of F&B. For example, if a consumer plans to make a specific purchase, such as an extensive decision-making purchase, it is motiva- tion for the consumer to go to the center and possibly grab a bite to eat while they are there. Appropriately distributing these eater- ies throughout the property is essential to activating retail centers, as it helps cast a wider net of consumers to the property who may not otherwise have gone there; but it is also more than just leasing space and calling it a day. F&B options which boast unique design, high-quality materi- als, are authentic to the region and offer multi-sensory experiences attract greater numbers of consumers, which translates directly into improved retail earnings. THE RETAIL EXPERIENCE The best way for retail centers to differentiate these F&B venues — and the overall consumer experience — is through creating immersive, experiential, multi-sensory concepts which leave guests coming back for more. The execution of developing these venues is the biggest driver of success. People are becoming more sophisticated when it comes to experiences — if the desired experience isn't met, people won't come back. For instance, sometimes, customers walk into a space and they can feel that something is a bit off. They aren't sure what's miss- ing, and when they walk out they just feel off-kilter. Minute details such as the acoustics of the room, the aroma coming from the kitchen or the chairs guests sit in directly impact the guest experience but are often ignored. Part of this appeal is the design of the venue itself. However, the integration of the multi-sensory experience is moving beyond just F&B venues and into the development overall to further enhance the consumer experience, which feeds into the concept of destination retail. As a result, retail centers are directing more attention toward the aesthetics, design, materials and scale of the venues to draw consumers in, keep them engaged and keep them coming back for more. Bringing in project team members Carbone's design pays homage to the New York, Italian-American restaurants of the 1950s, which was an era of glamour, entertainment and service.

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