Survey: Unique food experiences can save bricks-and-mortar

Whole Foods Market drives consumers into its stores with its model dining experience.

The solution to driving traffic into brick-and-mortar stores could be foodservice.

According to a recent survey from JDA, the top two reasons why customers visit a shopping center are, A, having unique dining options (46%) and B, grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s (42%). In third place, 41% of respondents identify that the convenience of services from shopping at a physical store, including buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) or curbside pickup also influence where they shop.

In other good news for brick-and-mortar retailers, 89% of respondents prefer to see, touch, feel and try out items as part of their purchase experience, and 58% want to take home products immediately.

Other notable findings of the JDA survey include:

• Sustainability is driving shopping patterns: Over half of those surveyed stated that they would be very likely to purchase products that are considered environmentally friendly or sustainable compared to other products

• Gen Z and millennials prioritize sustainability most: 27% of respondents between the ages of 18-29 saying they’d be extremely likely to shop with a sustainable retailer, compared to 17% of respondents ages 30-44 and 15% of respondents over the age of 45

• Open-air concept malls are growing in popularity: 22% of respondents shopped at outdoor shopping centers at least once a month, while 20% shop at traditional indoor malls at least once a month