Great Food Courts Determine A Mall’s Future Success
We need to have a gathering place where people can relax and sit down and a meeting place where they can go.
Mall shopping is primarily a social experience: According to a survey by the Glimcher Retail Monitor, about 80 percent of Americans shop with someone else.
And experiences like dining out, watching a movie, and participating in community events are the main reasons why many people still prefer the mall to online shopping. Despite the growth of online commerce, only 20 percent of Americans shop exclusively online, the survey reports.
Malls are here to stay, because people still want to gather and be social.
Considering predictions that about 15 percent of U.S. malls will be closed or re-purposed within the next 10 years, according to Green Street Advisors, food courts and other social experiences may be an important component of any mall’s future success.
Food courts add value
The biggest contribution a food court makes to the mall is keeping shoppers around longer. And the longer shoppers stick around, the more they buy: Consumers spend almost 20 percent more at malls with good food courts.
Food courts are very productive for malls. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), food courts brought in average revenue of $916 per square foot in 2013, compared to non-anchor stores that brought in $476 per square foot.
But the overall trend in food court fare is towards healthier options, as well as offer more allergy-sensitive choices like gluten-free and dairy-free foods.
But whatever the venue, guests love fast convenient food. And no matter how they buy it, food is a critically important part of social experience malls rely on to attract customers throughout the year. If we as malls cannot make it experiential for a customer, then we haven’t done a very good job.
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