September 2017

EG 20/9/17 Amber Rolt

REVO 2017: Having a diverse food and beverage offering is becoming one of the most important footfall drivers for retail and leisure destinations. It has also become one of the most important factors in placemaking. This has had a knock on effect for development and refurbishment of shopping centres and retail schemes, with landlords looking to tune into changing consumer habits.

According to EG data, F&B take up has jumped from 25% of take-up last year to 27% of take-up this year.

However, on the other hand, retail take up is down 11% year-on-year.

Some subsectors within retail have been performing better than others when it comes to physical space. Health and beauty has been performing well.

Speaking at Revo 2017, James Child, retail research manager at EG, said: “Health and beauty is seemingly protected in some respects from that online spend as it is still a sector where people want to physically touch it before they buy. Online sales only account for 4.5% of total sales.”

With regards to placemaking, Gaston Gaitain, manager and director at theleisureway, stressed the importance of creating an environment that creates an emotional connection in order to get people to come to centres.

He said: “We need a much more human environment where people can connect. You need to understand where your tenants and customers would like to go. We need to think about how we are going to connect and create that emotional connection. Leisure is the social glue of all parts.”

Cameron Scott, chief executive at Nash Bond, added that having a long-term view is key to creating spaces.

He said: “To be a viable investor and care about the creation of an area then you need to have a long-term view. If you are only interested in the lease and the covenant then that won’t help an area. You can see how restaurants interplay with public realm to become a very successful offer, and food and beverage is very important as restaurants can change a retail location.”

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