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Restaurant offering can whet appetite for shopping, particularly among youngsters

If you are planning to invest in the retail property sector any time soon, it may be wise to check out beforehand what restaurants are on offer nearby, especially if you are investing in London.

According to research conducted by Savills, the importance of a diverse food and beverage (F&B) offer on the overall attractiveness of a retail location is growing in importance, especially among young people.

The firm’s study found that Generation Z (16-24 year olds) and Generation Y (25-34 year olds) rated choice of restaurants as 6.1 and 6.4 out of 10 respectively (where 10 is very important) in determining where to shop for fashion, compared to an average of 4.9 across all age groups.

Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, commented: “Retailers are facing a number of challenges in 2017 with the revaluation of business rates, minimum wage, weaker consumer confidence and structural shifts in the way we shop. All of this could put pressure on store portfolios.

“Those locations that are attractive places to shop are likely to remain desirable to retailers, with our research suggesting that part of that desirability is based on the variety and quality of the location’s food offer, particularly if wanting to attract more younger shoppers.” 

This trend is even more pronounced in London, says Savills, where the importance of the F&B offer in choosing where to shop was rated as 7.2 by Generation Y and 6.2 by Generation Z.  Across all age groups, the average importance rating was also highest in London at 6.1, followed by 5.0 in both Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East.  

Mark Simms, head of shopping centre agency at Savills, commented: “F&B operators have been particularly active over the last three years.  While their influence on shopper behaviour varies geographically, in many cases the F&B offer is a significant factor in determining where consumers choose to shop and frequency of visits as well as having a positive effect on dwell time.  In turn, this creates the opportunity for landlords and retailers to convert at least some of that into retail spend.”

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