As a focus on health and wellness continues to trend in the lives of the everyday consumer and in food-service and supermarket retail, mixed-use communities with restaurants and grocery stores that offer fresh alternatives are seeing increased foot traffic. The hunt for quality ingredients and businesses offering outlets for mental and physical wellness, consumption trends that are rising in popularity, have resulted in workplace initiatives aimed toward wellness, providing a fresh opportunity for growth that drives visitors to the property.
Many consumers are proactively seeking high-quality, fresh foods and ingredients as their focus shifts toward achieving a balanced diet and fighting potential health risks. As a result, grocery stores have seen an increase in produce sales.
Most grocery stores are also embracing in-house dietitians or nutritionists to provide guidance to customers who are trying to live healthier lifestyles. In mixed-use communities, having a grocery store or marketplace that offers an answer to consumers’ health needs is a key component to repeat visitors. This, in turn, drives traffic to other shops, restaurants and entertainment spots throughout the development.
In keeping with the trends of the past few years, fast-casual restaurants are on the rise. As many consumers focus on nutrition, those restaurants that offer healthy options as a staple in their menu continue to see growth. Brands like Panera Bread, Costa Vida and Tropical Smoothie are systematically opening locations across the country, including the Kansas City mixed-use development, Bluhawk.
In addition to fast-casual options, sit-down restaurants are also a staple in successful mixed-use developments. Restaurants, like Red Door Grill, offer a satisfying meal and restaurant experience, while also driving foot traffic to the rest of the property. Communities that offer options for dinner dates, combined with entertainment options like movie theaters, live music venues and sporting arenas, encourage consumers to peruse retail, within the development, while waiting for tables at popular hot spots or while waiting for the show to start. By recognizing this, mixed-use developments can drive consumers to the property by promising a one-stop, convenient option for their everyday lives.
Although many have feared that a retail apocalypse is inevitable, evidence supports the opposite. One of the strongest factors proving the contrary is the prevalence of mixed-use developments in evolving retail spaces. Large retailers, grocery stores and restaurants continue to open new locations both within and outside these communities; however, the holistic lifestyle and ideology of mixed-use communities that attract consumers, plus the benefits of getting traffic from consumers who may have initially come for other tenants, are driving forces behind these retailers choosing to open in places like Bluhawk.