The team at TGP International recently took the spotlight at Cityscape Global 2023, the world's largest property development networking exhibition and conference. As experts in the global hospitality industry and a trusted partner for brands in over 15 countries, TGP International came to share insightful industry knowledge and make new connections.
Presenting in two separate sessions, our Creative Director, Gabriel Murray, and Partner, Nichola Beskine-Taylor, engaged in insightful discussions on international hospitality and leisure trends in real estate development, both on a global scale and specifically in Saudi Arabia.
If you couldn’t make it to Cityscape Global this year but still want to take advantage of our insider knowledge and in-depth industry research, we have distilled the highlights of their presentations.
Taste the Transformation: The Future of Food Retail and Mall Masterplanning
Gabriel Murray, Creative Director of TGP International, defined and answered three essential questions in regards to redefining the landscape of how we shop, dine, and experience the world of Food and Beverage.
Tastes are changing quickly and brands that are ahead of the curve will find themselves staying relevant and busy for this generation and the next. The places where people meet and shop don’t look like they did just 20 years ago. The first question Gabriel answered was:
How will the future of food retail in malls impact the overall master planning and design of shopping centres?
Enclosed shopping spaces have been a part of society since ancient times. These marketplaces and bazaars were an important part of daily life. By the 1980s and 90s, the modern shopping mall had become an essential hang-out place for teens and families alike.
Now, we are discovering that what has worked for decades is in need of a shake-up. E-commerce has exploded in popularity, leading to a decrease in physical retail. This has caused an increase in mall closures in western markets like the UK, Canada, and Australia. Malls and shopping centres in other markets have evolved to better suit the needs of today’s consumers.
In Southeast Asia and GCC, malls remain busy social hubs. It’s important to think about why these mixed use spaces work in these markets.
Combining residential, office, and leisure spaces offer many benefits like:
● Fostering community feel
● Flexible leasing arrangements
● Encouraging pop-up shops which often sell a new and exciting product and help jumpstart consumer trends
● Introducing variety and adaptability in your markets
● Providing opportunities for emerging brands and online retailers
How can a mall succeed in today’s environment? Retail isn’t just about products, it’s about being a part of a “real life” world. Anyone can get products online, so there has to be something to bring the people to the shopping centre. It’s essential that malls aren’t just places to shop but are also entertainment spaces where people come to meet.
There is a lot of room for growth in the shopping centre market, the global annual growth rate (CAGR) is projected at 3.15% from 2021-2028. It will reach $88.7 billion globally by 2032.
The people who go to the mall are loyal customers. 60% of mall shoppers visit at least once a week and 45% use the entertainment offers every time. If you don’t have entertainment offerings for them, they will go somewhere else!
How can the modern mall bring people together? By making Food & Beverage the lifeblood of this community! F&B can thrive in a shopping centre by:
● Not only focusing on global flagship brands that are already ubiquitous in other spaces
● Embracing local businesses
● Emphasising the sociability humans still crave
● Centering on an in-real-life (IRL) exploration
The sense of security felt in a mall is a big draw for consumers. Climate-free space is essential. Covering the shopping areas from the outside protects shoppers from the elements and keeps them feeling secure.
Since the focus is shifting from purely retail, malls need to be planned differently to succeed. F&B zones should be in clusters that bind retail areas together. The future of food retail and mall masterplanning is about creating memorable moments and fostering a deep connection between consumers and the food they consume.
How can malls create unique and immersive dining experiences to attract and retain customers in an increasingly competitive food retail market?
The future of malls are immersive experiences. Gabriel envisions a future where food retail spaces are immersive destinations that engage all the senses while telling a story.
A more immersive shopping experience:
● Rotates themes and hosts seasonal events
● Creates interest with changing looks and destinations
● Increased customer engagement with social media campaigns and interactive screens
● Brings in the next generation and keep them interested
● Adapts to both global and regional trends
One key to increasing the immersiveness of social hubs is through gamification. People love getting together in a fun, competitive environment. The gamification should emphasise socialising with multi-game venues and intuitive tech. This can create a sense of belonging and maximise engagement for both passive and active participants.
How can food retail concepts in malls be designed to cater to the growing trend of experiential dining and the desire for unique and Instagrammable experiences?
Gabriel emphasises that at its heart, F&B is all about the experience. People naturally want to share their experiences, which often means using social media.
To bring the experience seeker and the experience sharer together, when planning spaces you should consider:
● Art-led spaces that are interactive and perfect for experience sharing
● Blending F&B concepts with local events and creatives
● Always creating interest
● Both active and passive engagement
● Entire space needs to be of visual interest, not just a small part of it
Gabriel propels us into a future where the boundaries between shopping, dining, and entertainment blur, and the culinary landscape becomes a canvas for innovation and transformation.
KSA to Beyond:A journey through the trends & Challenges in the Hospitality & Leisure real Estate Market
Nichola Beskine-Taylor, Partner at TGP International, delivered an insightful presentation exploring the trends and challenges shaping the future of the Hospitality and Leisure real estate market, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Nichola delved into key themes, trendlines, and challenges that are influencing the F&B industry.
Reacting to Trendlines
Nichola details the key differences between Gen Z and the next generation of consumers, Gen Alpha. While Gen Z reminded us that we are part of a global community, Gen A is interested in connecting in a more meaningful way. This gets difficult with the increasing digitisation of the modern world. Brands that can successfully bridge this gap will fill a niche in the market.
Important emerging trends include:
Communities: Hospitality and leisure needs an exciting, well-working community to truly work. Amazing communities are complicated, but they all need to be multi-generational, interactive and have different touchpoints.
Accelerated Society: The world is moving to urban areas at an increasing rate and these new communities and cities are being planned now. With a projection of 2.5 billion people living in cities by 2050, the presentation highlighted the increasing feelings of loneliness worldwide, emphasising the need for community-focused developments.
With 90% of urban growth projected to be in Asia and Africa, the opportunities for creating connections and bringing people together in these markets should be planned today.
Localisation, Purpose & Sustainability: It’s essential to align projects with local culture and identity, driven by purpose and sustainability goals. Conscious consumers actively choose local businesses 64% of the time.
Today, people spend more time where they live and don’t simply transit from Point A to Point B. This makes localisation more lucrative and important than ever. Consumers want concepts that fit their cultural identity and reflect their unique identity. If a space can achieve this, consumers are eager to spend their time and money locally. In fact, 68% of Riyadh's new restaurants and cafes are Saudi brands.
TGP master planned the Al Mamlaka in Riyadh with Kingdom Holdings. We focused on following the trend of supporting local businesses with our 30/30/30 Rule. We used 30% local talent, 30% new to the market, and 30% established brands. Not surprisingly, the two most popular food brands in the hall are Saudi Brands.
Climate-Free Spaces: Recognizing extreme weather as a significant risk, the industry is responding by increasing green spaces and planting trees in urban areas. Making a seamless experience with both greenery and water features inside and outside can be a big draw for guests who feel more comfortable with the option of a climate-controlled environment.
Experience Share: Brands need to focus on creating immersive and memorable experiences for consumers. What we are doing now isn’t enough, we need experiences to be digital at the same time.
Immersion: To build on experience share, the idea of connecting consumers in a multitude of ways is an important part of immersion. The key is sensory overload. Brands are using immersion with a rise of experiential dining, dinnertainment, escapism, interactive art, and nostalgia.
The emphasis on nostalgia is increasingly important for younger generations, with 15% of Gen Z admitting to preferring to think about the past instead of the future. This has led to a huge boom in the luxury resale market, which will continue to grow at 10-15% every year.
Gamification: Another facet of experience share is gamification. This is shown with the popularity of competitive socialising venues and the potential benefits of incorporating gamification in the restaurant industry.
Gamification takes up large retail spaces and is popping up more and more on the high street, offering new growth opportunities for mixed use real estate.
Mixed Use (RDE) & Flexibility: The bottom level of buildings has traditionally been used for retail-only but this is starting to change. It is essential that mixed-use spaces are flexible in design and functionality to keep up with trends. Westfield predict that by 2025, over 50% of retail space will be dedicated to experiences instead of traditional retail.
What are the biggest challenges?
Sustainability: Conscious consumers are very aware of sustainability and want businesses to communicate their sustainability. We need to address environmental concerns and incorporate sustainable practices in real estate development.
Vehicle-Free Cities: Cities with less footfall due to less travel by vehicle is the future and retail spaces will need to anticipate it. This is in response to the environmental impact of cities, where 40% of the world's CO2 emissions are produced.
Talent Shortages: Nichola acknowledged the challenges of workforce shortages in the hotel industry and the need for talent development and incubation. In the US, there are already more than 1 million unfilled jobs in hospitality. KSA needs to attract 300,000 professionals in hospitality and tourism by 2030.
Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 is a crucial factor in the industry's evolution, with the country being one of the world's biggest investors in tourism. The commitment of USD 550 billion to new destinations by 2030 is expected to create one million jobs in the tourism industry, with a focus on Saudization.
These presentations highlighted the key trends and challenges in the Hospitality and Leisure real estate market, emphasising the importance of community, experience, sustainability, and local engagement. With Vision 2030 driving significant transformation, the industry is poised for dynamic changes and global learning.
About TGP International
These presentations were delivered by TGP International global 360° hospitality agency that specialises in creating world-class hospitality brands and food retail spaces. The agency offers services such as F&B Masterplanning, Concept Development, Creative Interior Design, Franchising, Advisory Services, and Project Management.