Shopping Centres have always been a main attraction. Want to catch a movie? Give your credit card a good workout? Or maybe you just need a last-minute birthday present? No matter your reason, we’ve all spent a day at our local shopping centre. Over time, we’ve watched them evolve to appeal to current markets, introducing new stores, creative pop-ups and even weekly events to entice further foot traffic. However, in recent years more and more brands have been adopting an omni-channel approach and with the ongoing effects of COVID, many centres are facing increased pressure to once again reimagine their facilities. To stay relevant many are choosing to reinvent themselves. The result? Multi-million dollar retail fit-outs & refurbishments.
Shaping the way that new + reimagined facilities are designed is the concept of ‘centre living’. Due to the extensive national footprints that many of these centres have, fit-outs are taking a unique location-based design approach. By crafting purpose-built shopping centres that align with local consumer lifestyles, facilities can better cater to the specific needs of current + future communities. This strategic redevelopment helps to boost centre relevance within the retail sector. So, what does the future of shopping centres look like?
- Taking a non-traditional retail approach, centre fitouts will include more public libraries, swimming schools, parks, co-working offices and multi-sports centres. This increased focus on adding additional facilities & communal spaces not only encourages community connection but also helps centres regain industry relevance. By becoming an attraction in the community, consumers are more likely to meet up with friends & family, thus increasing foot traffic for retail stores and encouraging interaction through social experiences.
- Retail centre redevelopments will contain enhanced food offerings. The traditional ‘food court’ has become an outdated concept. We are spoilt for choice with incredible hospitality venues ramping up their efforts to offer both dine-in & takeout options. Shopping centres will capitalize on any immersive experiences that reinforce the concept of ‘centre living’. Facilities will be cleverly planned to cater for longer dining experiences – from casual to more formal hospitality cafés, bars, restaurants & kiosks. Expect to see extended trading hours for restaurants to encourage centre attraction and longer visits.
- Centres see thousands of shoppers daily, with facilities often becoming worn from extensive use. While many shopping centre fit-outs manage to prevent facilities becoming too dated too quickly, often design refurbishments are necessary to reignite appeal in the current consumer. We are seeing an increase in biophilic design across all sectors. Biophilic elements such as natural materials, plants, open spaces, natural light and water features are a popular way to bring the outdoors inside. The benefit of this design approach is a healthier & happy community. Don’t be surprised if you see more community green spaces and chill out zones at your local shopping centre.
- With more to see and do than ever before, increased centre parking will be a priority. Many centres already have built infrastructure that caters to demand levels, however, will additional facilities, more parking will be needed where transport options are limited. Alternately, improved public transport centre facilities may be updated to inspire more consumers to visit & encourage accessibility across the community. Many shopping centres are already investing heavily in refurbishments that consider improved pedestrian connectivity to nearby busways with new footpaths and zebra crossings.
Looking to upgrade your shopping centre facilities? Talk to Unita’s retail fit-out experts with over 15 years of cross-industry experience, our team can deliver the future of shopping centres.