The need to increase the food and beverage offer within the commercial sector has become the hot topic among a series of seminars and panel discussions throughout the year, as landlords look towards creating leisure spaces to increase dwell time and “futureproof” their assets in the process.
Grosvenor Europe, part of the international and privately owned property company the Grosvenor Group, has been doing exactly that across its European retail portfolio, which includes the UK’s Liverpool ONE and Southern Stockholm’s largest shopping center, Skärholmen Centrum.
Carl Strufve, Director of the Nordics at Grosvenor Europe, explains how Grosvenor is increasing its food and beverage offer in assets across Stockholm: “In Sweden, and particularly in Stockholm, eating out is driving spending growth and we are responding to this trend by increasing the visibility of quality restaurants and eateries within our centers.”
Upgrading all dining offers
Grosvenor Europe knows from experience that food services are transforming shopping centers into convivial destinations. It has owned and managed malls in Sweden since 2011 when it acquired a portfolio of retail assets including Haninge Centrum, Väsby Centrum, and Bålsta Centrum. It acquired Skärholmen Centrum in 2015. Figures support this idea: Customers who eat during a shopping center trip spend on average 27 minutes longer in the shopping center, spending 18% more on overall transactions .
To take advantage of this trend, Grosvenor Europe’s ambition is to upgrade all the dining offers within its portfolio in Sweden to continue to create dynamic meeting places, now and in the future. Over the last year alone, Grosvenor Europe has signed 27 food and beverage retailers to its Swedish assets. That’s in line with a JLL survey stating that “Food & beverage operators have doubled the amount of floor space they occupy in shopping centers over the last 10 years, from 7% to 15% of GLA. These figures will reach 20% in the coming years.”
“Living cities” philosophy
The biggest upgrade so far is taking place later this year at Skärholmen Centrum, where the center recently welcomed local and international food brands, a Netto supermarket, a Zocalo restaurant, and café Le Croissant as a part of the launch of the new casual dining offer near Skärholsmtorget.
There is a clear strategy to upgrade the layout and tenant mix with new international brands and a broader fashion and food offering. The goal is to re-create the feeling of a thriving urban environment, reflecting the asset’s heritage as a town center, and to offer an even more vibrant meeting place for people living in and visiting Skärholmen. This approach is what Grosvenor considers the implementation of its “living cities” philosophy.
Grosvenor Europe is increasing its dining offer from five percent to 10% of the total center, which will stretch across 4,500 sq m of retail space. “We see stable growth in Skärholmen Centrum and continue to invest and sharpen the shopping experience in the center according to plan. The vision is to create a new urban center for Southern Stockholm and these new deals take us further along that path. We are progressing well and look forward to building upon our strong position in Stockholm,” continued Strufve.
At Väsby Centrum, a shopping center well integrated with community services, medical centers, and residential offers, with a strong local loyal customer base, there is demand for new dining options where customers can enjoy lunch and/or dinner in an environment that they already know and feel comfortable in.
The current food offer at Väsby Centrum includes: Arigato Sushi, Basilica, Café & Konditori Petit Four, Coop, ICA Kvantum, Espresso House, Waynes Coffee, Tamarine Wok, Subway, and a Stockholms Stadsmission café. Today, Grosvenor Europe is planning to extend the food and beverage offer by introducing more restaurants to broaden the current options and is currently negotiating with a series of new food operators.
Eating and roller skating
At the heart of the Haninge Municipality, Haninge Centrum provides residents with the convenience of services and goods close by. It is also a great meeting place where customers like to spend time.
Last year, Grosvenor Europe introduced the new leisure concept Rollers n’ Bowlers, an American diner restaurant with a roller skating rink, bowling, and gaming facilities. Providing 1,560 sq m of restaurant space, Rollers n’ Bowlers has since then proved very popular with friends and family looking for a fun night out in Haninge.
In the north of Stockholm, meanwhile, Bålsta Centrum is anchored by ICA supermarket, which works as a catalyst for the rest of the shopping center. Grosvenor Europe is refreshing the mall’s F&B offer with new restaurants and café concepts to increase the dwell time of the existing customer base.
“With the rise of e-commerce, it is fundamental that we provide a full shopping, leisure, and dining experience to meet our guests’ needs, so we are updating our centers to create places to meet and socialize. We believe in nurturing each asset to ensure it reaches its full potential and we view our investments in the centers as having a positive, long-term impact on both the current and future communities,” added Strufve.