Food Becomes Prime Growth Driver for Malls

5 mall bosses on why location strategy decides a mall's success - India Retailing


The article discusses the rise of food-focused malls in India, with developers dedicating 50% or more space to restaurants and entertainment over retail stores. Food outlets are emerging as the biggest revenue generator with higher footfalls.

Analysis for a Layman:

  • F&B – Food and beverages
  • Revenue – Income
  • Footfalls – Customer visits
  • Leasable area – Space available for rent by mall operators

Original Analysis:

The pandemic has fundamentally shifted consumer behavior and preferences. Socializing over food and experiences is driving higher spend than shopping alone. Mall developers are sharp in spotting this trend and pivoting their offerings to drive more F&B and entertainment space. This is a win-win – better monetization for developers and superior experiences attracting sticky customers.

Impact on Retail Investors:

Retail, F&B, multiplex and entertainment stocks with larger presence in malls stand to gain the most. Hospitality and QSR chains entering tier-2/3 cities via mall locations can see accelerated growth. Investors can evaluate entertainment and mall REITs as long term bets. Some retail brands focused only on products may require tweaked strategies.

Impact on Industries:

F&B, multiplex, entertainment, mall/real estate developers and food ingredients/supply chains get a major boost. Space and importance for pure retail/apparel brands may moderate in the longer term. Tier 2/3 cities will drive additional growth.

Long Term Benefits:

Higher F&B and entertainment spend will catalyst overall growth in consumption and mall development. It meets the social needs of younger generations while driving more family visits and dwell time. Will boost experiential retail.

Short Term Challenges:

Retail brands may require reworked expansion strategies to adjust to lower space allocation. Staffing, supply chain challenges can impact restaurant operators in the short term.

Companies to Gain:

Inox, PVR, Prestige, Phoenix Mills, Lemon Tree, Barbeque Nation

Companies Potentially Impacted:

Shopper’s Stop, Trent, Aditya Birla Fashion if they fail to tweak strategies for lower retail space allocation over the long term.

Additional Insight:

Global success of outlets like Eataly underscores how consumers connect with storytelling around food origins, transparency and quality. Local flavors also build differentiation. Mall F&B concepts should incorporate these learnings.


The growth of food-anchored entertainment malls provides investors exposure to strong structural tailwinds underpinning consumption growth in India. Hospitality and experiential retail are long term portfolio plays.


Haidar, Faizan. “Developers Now Focus on New Growth Menu: Food-only Malls.” The Economic Times

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