The Waterfront shopping centre on Friday revealed plans to open a flagship Mercado marketplace, combining fresh produce and ingredients, live seafood and premium liquor from around the world.
“At a time when people have never been more passionate about gourmet food experiences, Mercado has raised the bar in terms of food and beverage shopping concepts,” Makris group chief operating officer Jason Makris said.
“Marina Mirage has long been established as a destination for premium shopping and dining, and the arrival of Mercado will continue to cement the centre’s position long into the future.”
The Mercado marketplace, which has been compared to Harrods Food Hall in London and Galeries Lafayette in Paris, opened a 1500sqm Brisbane concept location in November 2018. The Marina Mirage location will serve as the company’s flagship when it opens in 12 to 18 months.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast-based Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre opened its revamped open-air dining precinct, Harbour Town Eats, last week, positioning it as the ‘missing piece of the puzzle’.
“By creating that holistic environment of relaxation and dining and good quality food, it increases dwell time and puts shoppers in a relaxed, energetic frame of mind,” Chris Calvert, chief executive of Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre’s owner, Lewis Land Group, told IR.
“We can broaden the amount of people we think that will come to the centre, so we see [Harbour Eats] as such a critical component of the success of the centre.”
According to CBRE regional director of retail asset services Megan Wakefield, shopping centres in the current retail climate will prove more successful “if they leverage off the services side of the economy.”
“The tenancy mix, especially in neighbourhood and sub-regional shopping centres, is already shifting to provide customers with a “community” to shop and live in,” Wakefield told IR.
“The traditional convenience centre is now providing customers will an experience shop where not only can they buy food, but they can also complete their spending on everyday essentials, including medical, childcare, [and] entertainment for the family.”
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