Do you remember when you’d go to the mall and the success of a shopping spree was measured by the amount of bags you were carrying back to your car? Well, those days are long gone. Next time you find yourself in a shopping mall, pay attention to how many people you see carrying bags around. You won’t see many, and this isn’t because people have stopped shopping (those endorphins will never stop being addictive). Its more indicative of how far technological advances have come because now you can do all your shopping from the comfort of your own home, and in all honesty, its so much easier.
Even though this phenomenon is currently more prevalent in the US, its beginning to happen in Mexico too (its most certainly where the future is headed), and it has opened up a huge opportunity for the F&B industry. Why? Getting into the nitty gritty of it, shopping centers (SC) revolve around anchor stores; you know, the big huge stores that are the life of the party, attracting the crowds that the rest of the SC lives off of.
Currently, you’ll find two types of anchor stores: the first kind invests a whole lot more into consumer experience, giving consumers something “extra” that they can’t get from their computers and online shopping. This type of establishment likes to stay right in the middle of things. The other kind of anchor store is investing in online buying strategies, leaving the physical experience of shopping behind and out of their scope, forcing them to reduce their physical presence and thus freeing up large spaces in shopping centers; spaces that must inevitably get filled with “something” in order to reduce the risk of losing foot traffic.
This, ladies and gents, is where the opportunity comes in for F&B that shopping centers cannot refuse (yes, we are discreetly quoting The Godfather). In order to avoid failure, SC’s need to create foot traffic, and what better way to start doing that with foodies and consumers that are looking for complete experiences, in addition to all the services available to them at SC’s.
The future of these large structures and entertainment centers is in F&B – but not your typical fast food courts. We can’t forget about our model and star consumer: it is no longer desirable to them to grab a bite to eat and get on with their shopping. He wants to be served experience after experience. That’s why there’s a need to create spaces that focus on fostering and bettering those experiences, but achieving this is nothing short of rocket science.
Mexico is the country with the most SC’s in Latin America. What?! You heard right. We still love our leisurely strolls with friends and family. So, businesses that dedicate less than 10% of their GLA (Gross Leasable Area) to F&B will no longer be sustainable. They’ve got to ramp it up to at least 25% of their GLA, and Mero Mole knows exactly how to get the most out of that space so that traffic keeps flowing to the max and make it so our foodies always have a big fat smile on their faces.
By: the Top Dogs