Food is quickly become a shopping center's most attractive customer proposition. Successful shopping centers have a larger share of food-oriented stores, a medical cluster, multicultural shopping formulas and a link to online orders thanks to a pick-up point.
Hospitality industry trails in the Netherlands
Multi CEO, Jaap Blokhuis, revealed this snippet of information during a congress, organized by Neprom and IVBN in collaboration with PropertyNL, on retail real estate innovations. Other speakers also agree that "food" in the largest sense of the word, namely groceries and the hospitality industry, is becoming a shopping center's biggest draw.
Blokhuis pointed to the fact that, compared to other countries, the Netherlands are lagging behind when it comes to the hospitality industry in shopping centers. "Try to make an appointment for a decent restaurant in the Hoog Catharijne shopping center in Utrecht."
He forecasts that a whole range of new hospitality formulas for shopping centers will surface. Food represents 30 to 35 % in Asian shopping centers, "a section that is not hampered by online retailing", according to Multi CEO.
Opportunities for physical stores
There are opportunities for physical stores, Blokhuis feels. Online retailers are forced to spend an increasing amount to money to be visible in Google's search results and according to him, "there will come a time that Google will be less interesting than a physical store as a means to market your products". This is also why an increasing number of online retailers have launched physical stores.
Other speakers felt it was also a plus if customers can order things online and pick them up in a shopping center, but they did have certain reservations. Jaco Meeuwissen (3W Real Estate) and Hilke Nijmeijer (CBRE Global Investors) pointed out that it is not easy for a real estate owner to get all of the shopping center's retailers to agree to this.