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Economy Watch: Food & Beverage Sales May Help Ailing Shopping Centers

Economy Watch: Food & Beverage Sales May Help Ailing Shopping Centers Commercial Property Executive (06/30/17) Stribling, Dees)

A new Cushman & Wakefield study shows that the increasing presence of food and beverage in shopping centers is being driven by rapid global growth in consumer spending on eating out. Analysts say it's a trend that might help some large retail properties from going under as spending on eating out is poised to grow over the next decade. With consumers' desire to enhance a shopping trip with social and leisure experiences also on the rise, food and beverage has become critical to the success of any retail development. All four global regions examined in the study are projected to register growth in food and beverage expenditure, led by Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa. Based on Oxford Economics research, consumer spending is expected to almost double in the latter region ($182.5 billion to $363.5 billion) and more than double in the former region ($1.05 billion to $2.3 billion).

As more mature markets, Europe and the Americas aren't expected to see the same increases in consumer spending but are nonetheless on track to enjoy healthy food and beverage annual spending growth of 4.9 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. Once-ubiquitous food courts, comprised of common seating areas surrounded by fast-food outlets, have become a dying breed. To be sure, mainstream brands with the ability to pay higher rents still dominate. But more mall owners and operators are recognizing the importance of diversity. Concepts such as the food hall have evolved. Meanwhile, there has also been a move toward creating different eating and drinking zones within shopping centers.

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