F&B remains buoyant despite sluggish consumer spending

Malls are busy strengthening their F&B appeal to consumers.

Although there are still a lot of F&B players left on the scene, confidence in this segment remains high. This is possibly because F&B is a complete experience which cannot yet be achieved online, unlike other retail segments which can be replaced by e-commerce, says Savills.

As such, to take advantage of the upbeat market, malls have been making an effort to strengthen their F&B appeal to consumers.

Here's more from Savills:

After two months of renovation works, Food Opera at ION Orchard reopened with a wider food range in June. Rather than just being a shopping destination, ION Orchard
is working on the variety and exclusivity of its dining choices to satisfy the cravings of locals and tourists.

There are also malls like the upcoming Downtown Gallery which has come up with unique selling points. Instead of overcrowding the mall with F&B stalls, only 29% of the space has been allocated for F&B tenants.

However, the mall will optimise this smaller allocation of space to F&B use with new concepts such as cooking in a common kitchen and serving lunch from lockers. Known as an integration of lifestyle, wellness and technology mall, Downtown Gallery will have a 4,000-sq ft shared kitchen on the third fl oor which consumers can book online or via an app to cook and dine.

Furthermore, consumers can also place their orders with their mobile and collect their food, which is prepared in a central kitchen, from the designated locker.

The upgrading plans for Funan DigitaLife Mall show that developers are responding to the market challenges with clear unique selling propositions to help the new malls to stay competitive.

As consumers are always looking for novelty and surprises, the revamp is to transform the current mall into a "Mall of the Future" with experiential retail concepts. 

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