You would think that most people’s immediate instinct when entering a shopping centre would be to grab and run – before it all gets too much.
Not so, according to new research from CBRE, which reveals that a third of all visitors to shopping centres across Europe, South Africa and the Middle East will visit a restaurant or coffee shop just to eat or drink.
The property advisory group surveyed more than 22,000 customers as part of its latest Food and Beverage (F&B) report and found that United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa, Turkey, Romania and Spain were particularly partial to a cup of tea, a sandwich or a full blown meal when visiting malls.
The UAE led the way with 59 per cent of shoppers making a trip to their local shopping mall to eat or drink, which could be explained by the heat. In South Africa that number was 57 per cent followed by 52 per cent in Turkey, 51 per cent in Poland and 42 per cent in Spain.
But even if their main reason for visiting a centre was to eat and drink, an average of 40 per cent of people then go on to shop.
The survey revealed that the majority of UK respondents visited shopping centres once a month and they visited large town centre shopping centres most often.
Over a third of UK consumers said they are more likely to stop and have a bite to eat when they are in a shopping centre and over half of those respondents who had something to eat or drink in a shopping centre tended to spend more time shopping in the centre.
Retail property landlords have been boosting their exposure to leisure to offset rising competition from the Internet and to get shoppers to spend more time in shopping centres and retail parks.
Peter Gold, head of EMEA Cross Border Retail, CBRE said: “With shopping centres competing for shopper attention, food and beverage is increasingly important as a footfall and revenue driver."
"Customers not only have a desire to shop, but have a need to eat. With that in mind, our research shows that more than 40 per cent of people across EMEA will visit shops even if their primary reason to visit was to eat or drink.”