The Covid-19 pandemic has both amplified an interest in healthcare-focused concepts, while complicating access to shopping centres. While restrictions are likely to persist in the near term, the demand for healthcare and beauty formats, healthy food, fitness and general wellness themes, present clear opportunities for shopping centre owners and managers to improve sales and footfall.
The challenge involves successfully integrating these concepts into the offer, to drive higher cross-selling effects, while leveraging specific stores as traffic builders.
Health should equally be explored as a cross-category theme, permeating nearly every area of the shopping centre, in response to consumer expectations that their wellbeing should always be front of mind for retailers.
In this light, shopping centre managers must also revisit the F&B mix to better meet demand for emerging trends, ranging from healthy eating, to organic, vegan, and sustainability concerns, while expanding health food and grocery options.
Sonae Sierra research has identified a positive growth in sales metrics where the weight of the health & wellness category is increased in shopping centres.
The segment can be successfully positioned across multiple categories, from health & beauty, to F&B, groceries and services.
There is also significant potential to enlarge the scope and nature of offers in this category to capture synergies with other areas of retail. This in turn drives new visitor motives and profiles.
We have also successfully expanded ‘service-driven’ offers, such as pharmacies, clinics and specialised fitness clubs as new types of health-focused anchors.
Ultimately, shopping centre owners and operators are charged to explore the concept of the mall as a living example of fitness, supplying health driven events or experiences, and boosting their wellbeing overall.
Shopping centres with a diverse yet relevant mix have the power to create loyalty and high frequency visits; therefore, leasing strategies which successfully leverage the healthcare trend can improve the vitality and longevity of a retail destination, ultimately defending its value.
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