Monday Morning Scoop - Retail's Growing Demand for Sit-Down Dining, Quick Service and Medical Users

Retail’s Growing Demand for Sit-Down Dining, Quick Service and Medical Users

LAS VEGAS—The retail landscape is undergoing a significant transformation with changing consumer preferences and emerging trends, according to attendees at the recent ICSC Las Vegas event. caught up with Christine Deschaine, a Senior Vice President of Kennedy Wilson brokerage, who offered valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of the retail market.

Her observations shed light on the growing demand for sit-down dining, quick-service restaurants, and medical users expanding into urban areas. Deschaine highlighted the resurgence of fitness and the shift towards smaller footprints among established retail giants. Her comments showcase a promising future for retail and the continued prominence of mixed-use properties in urban landscapes.

Demand for Dining Experiences

One of the prominent trends observed by Deschaine is the increasing demand for sit-down dining and quick-service restaurants. “Today’s consumers seek not just sustenance but also the experience of enjoying a meal in a cozy restaurant or grabbing a quick bite on the go,” she said. “This shift in preference has created lucrative opportunities for restaurateurs and entrepreneurs in the food service industry.”

Expansion of Medical Users

Urban areas are witnessing a surge in medical users who are keen to establish a presence in densely populated locations, she added. Recognizing the potential for growth and accessibility, these medical professionals are actively seeking out spaces in urban markets. “This trend not only caters to the needs of urban residents but also provides medical users with a strategic advantage by positioning themselves closer to their target audience,” she said.

The Revival of Fitness

Another noteworthy development in the retail market is the resurgence of the fitness industry. Deschaine highlighted how fitness tenants who previously faced barriers to market entry are now presented with enticing opportunities. With smaller gyms downsizing or vacating their premises, larger vacancies have emerged, she said. “These vacancies serve as ideal spaces for fitness-focused businesses to establish their presence, catering to the growing fitness-conscious consumer base.”

Adapting to Smaller Footprints

Her analysis reveals an intriguing shift among established retail brands with larger footprints. Due to changing consumer preferences, brands are reevaluating their formats and adjusting to smaller footprints.

For instance, tenants like the Gap, she says, who traditionally occupied expansive spaces of 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, are now exploring the potential of more compact locations around 10,000 square feet. This adaptation allows them to remain relevant and agile in a changing retail landscape, she says.

The Changing Face of Grocers

The grocery sector is also experiencing transformations in response to shifting consumer demands. Concepts such as Erewhon and Gelson’s are opting for smaller footprints and seeking a presence in ground floor mixed-use projects within densely populated urban markets, she says. Even major retailers like Costco are embracing a departure from their traditional freestanding concept, she explained. By planning smaller format stores on the ground floor of mixed-use buildings, they are signaling to other tenants that mixed-use properties, incorporating retailers and restaurants, will continue to shape our urban landscape.

By: Natalie Dolce
Source: GlobeStreet