Research by CACI, the consumer and location intelligence specialist, has found almost one in ten trips to regional malls are driven primarily by food & beverage or leisure. Whilst the figure drops to one in 20 visits for retail and shopping parks, overall 7% of visits to all retail destinations are F&B or leisure-led.
Significantly for retail brands and owners of retail destinations, 50% of those people visiting primarily for F&B or leisure go on to spend on retail, highlighting the value of F&B-orientated consumer missions. In addition, regardless of the original reason for visiting a destination, anyone that spends on F&B during a visit has a 48% higher retail spend during their trip compared to visitors who just shop.
The research, which utilises Shopper Dimensions, CACI’s database of 800,000 customer-facing surveys from across the UK, also highlights differences in consumer behaviour across the UK. In the North West, for example, the number of F&B or leisure-led visitors that go on to spend on retail increases to 62%. By contrast, in London, the figure drops to 34% due to the level of competition in the capital.
There are also interesting differences between towns and cities. Smaller towns and cities, such as Warrington, Hereford, Bath and Fareham, have a 54% retail conversion rate from F&B missions. By comparison, in core cities like Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds, the conversion rate is 49%, reflecting the increased choice available to consumers in cities.
Further, whilst only 5% of visits to retail and shopping parks are driven by F&B or leisure, 57% and 55% respectively of such trips convert into retail spend.
Commenting on the insight, John Platt, Director of CACI Property Consulting Group, said: “Our latest research once again highlights that all is far from lost for retail and leisure destinations. By thinking laterally and recognising there are other key reasons why consumers visit locations beyond retail, landlords can drive additional spend in stores.
“As with our recent online halo study, which demonstrated the important role physical stores play in growing online spend, this latest research reveals there is a clear need for bricks and mortar locations. Crucially, however, destinations must be proactively managed, with a creative approach taken to providing a relevant, engaging and evolving experience for consumers to enjoy, whatever their original motivation for visiting. As our research reveals, get it right and the outlook is encouragingly positive.”
The F&B and leisure mission research is the latest in a series of industry insights published by CACI as it works with landlords, retailers and leisure operators to help them better understand changing consumer behaviour. It follows the publication last month of a report into the positive contribution stores make to driving online sales. Previously, CACI has also revealed the positive impact festivals have on driving consumer spend, highlighting the Edinburgh Fringe as effectively delivering a second Christmas for the city.