Thomas Rose, Head of Leisure at Cushman & Wakefield in the UK considers what the sector might serve up next.
In the last three years we have seen an explosion of new restaurant and leisure space being created in shopping centres from Aberdeen to Plymouth and everywhere in-between. As the market develops, we’re always looking at the next big trends and how our clients can adapt to meet customers’ needs.
The likes of Deliveroo and UberEATS have transformed the restaurant sector with some operators citing that as much as 20-30% of their sales are now being driven from online. If we’d suggested online sales would have disrupted the restaurant industry five years ago, you’d have choked on your sushi roll!
Foodmarkets are well and truly back on the radar and operators such as Eataly, TimeOut Market, London Union and others all have well-documented requirements. And while they are undoubtedly brilliant, this is nothing new. The bigger question is going to be around keeping schemes innovative to meet ever-changing consumer needs. Markets are certainly a great way of doing this, although there is likely to be further evolution of scheme design so that placemaking really takes centre stage.
Schemes need to adapt to be less homogenous, less sterile and more vibrant. Key to this is an integrated retail and leisure strategy that combines local heroes, independent operators and carefully curated larger brands to really harness and entice customer interest.
Consumers are increasingly savvy and willing to travel greater distances for the right offer. If you don’t supply what the consumer expects – and demands – they will be tweeting and instagramming all the way to your competitors, and to where the excitement and buzz is at!
The next trends will all revolve around the very best place-making – inspiring architecture, truly engaging brands and amazing occupiers. If your scheme can’t deliver on this, it will be left behind, and with that, I am off to sample the latest local pizza joint…”