Food space doubles to 40% in shopping malls as more retail stores close shop
Dining is fast taking over shopping as the main magnet in shopping malls as retailers close stores and lay off employees in the last 12 months.
A Bilyonaryo Babbler, who owns a multi-brand restaurant business, said the share of food in mall space has increased from 20 percent to as much as 40 percent.
“You can’t replicate the dining experience online. People go out to eat and drink with friends, not to buy clothes or appliances,” said the businessman who declined to be named.
He said the share of retail has shrunk to 40 percent from 60 percent as millennials flock to on-line retail stores such as Amazon and Lazada to buy clothes, shoes, gadgets and appliances. The rest of the mall space is taken by entertainment (movies), games (bowling alleys and gyms) and vanity stores (hair salon).
The businesman said this trend in local malls mirrored what was unravelling in the American mall scene where non-food retail space has slumped behind restaurants and bars.
Aside from the rise of online retailing, the businessman blamed the rapid expansion of malls and the growing homogeneity in its retail tenants on why most of its shops have closed down.
But the businessman said the food business could also be reaching saturation as there could only be so much restaurants and bars that could survive in an ultra competitive environment inside the mall.
“The name of the game is finding a niche and being the best and the most consistent in that food business,” said the businessman.