EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Kevin Santos, Australia

How is the food and beverage sector transforming the traditional shopping centre mix?

Executives from Colliers International, Mirvac Retail and Crown Resorts (Perth) weigh in on its growth.

Food and beverage offerings will continue to play a role in the evolution of the traditional mix of shopping and entertainment centres, according to a panel of executives during the 2018 QSR Media Detpak Conference and Awards.

“Looking forward, what you're going to see is a blending of fresh food. We've seen that with the Westfield developments and catering together,” Mirvac Retail’s general manager for leasing Joe Antonios said, adding that consumers are looking for more of a “market feel” in shopping centres.

“The new buzz word is Wellness. There has been a significant shift away from the traditional shopping centre mix that we had in the 80s and 90s to what today is a mix that satisfies today's customers,” Michael Bate, Head of Retail for Colliers International added. “A really good mix of wellness, food and beverage [and] of entertainment – it's becoming the new model.”

Similar to shopping centres and supermarkets, Crown Resorts Perth general manager for food and beverage Chris Harris also noted how such offerings are also changing the makeup of entertainment precincts since he joined the organisation a decade ago.

“Our common goal is to attract visitation and footprint through all our complexes or facilities. To do that effectively, you need a lot of different offers to cater for different demographics. I think what we've done in that ten years is we got serious about our food and beverage offerings too, he said.

Food and beverage ‘next round of int’l players’
Bate surmises that food and beverages will comprise of the next round of “international players” reaching the Australian market. “Firstly, they've got their network up and running throughout Asia. The second reason is they've got the logistics; it's very easy to bolt the Australian and then the New Zealand market on to their existing network.”

Asked about how different styles of food offerings come into play, Antonios highlights how QSRs not only play an important part of their food mix in traditional shopping centres but also in central business districts.

“We own a fair bit of retail and commercial buildings in Sydney and in Melbourne. In some of those buildings, having a QSR is important. If you have high-income tenants, they [would] want to buy something that’s affordable and quick. So there's a place for them in those areas,” he said.

Some panellists also reinforced convenience as a high value for customers today. “The future is really about convenience and local. So the challenge for us is mixing international retailers such as the QSR brands with some of the local retailers. That gives us points in point by point of difference and what you hear a lot about is the experience,” Antonius said.


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