Health and Wellness uses attract people to shopping centres during quieter periods for traditional retailers.
The retail property sector is facing a challenging environment. As shopping centres continue to evolve from enclosed big-box retail destinations to broadly based mixed-use space, prudent landlords regularly re-evaluate their tenant mix plans and offerings to remain relevant. Against this backdrop, health and wellness (H&W)—consisting largely of hospitals and day surgeries, medical and allied health services, and wellness uses, activities and other well-being drivers—has emerged as an important component in the mix of uses for shopping centres of all sizes to consider. The evidence from Australia is compelling.
The introduction of H&W uses and spaces—from major facilities such as hospitals and gyms to simple areas for Pilates classes—is an increasingly popular global trend involving extending dwell times, adding destination appeal, creating mutually beneficial synergies between uses, and sustaining a higher level of “quality income,” both directly and indirectly. In Australia, for example, over the last three years, 60% of shopping centres have increased their formal H&W floorspace and are focusing more on creating informal spaces.