Personal wellbeing has emerged as a key motivator for visiting shopping centres in a new study.
A study conducted by QIC in partnership with McCrindle Research has revealed that 44 per cent of Australians – and 64 per cent of QIC customers – consider their local shopping centre to be an important source of stress relief. These spaces were also reported to be a key contributor to quality of life by over two-thirds of QIC customers, with this consumer segment significantly more inclined than the average Australian to engage in self-improvement and wellbeing activities at a shopping centre opposed to at home.
The survey of more than 4500 Australians was carried out as part of a new six-part Consumer Insights series commissioned by QIC to help retail partners anticipate and respond to shifts in shopper needs, beliefs and behaviours. The findings highlight the critical role that retail-anchored town centres can play in a community’s quest for optimal health and wellbeing, as well as QIC’s long-term prioritisation of wellness in the design and retail mix of its properties.
Stephen Dewaele, General Manager – Shopping Centres, says gyms, yoga studios, beauty services, athleisurewear malls and fresh food precincts form part of a broadening network of experiences that people are actively seeking out at their local shopping centre, with four in five Australians labelling time spent on wellbeing as ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important.
Research Principal Mark McCrindle explains: “The study showed that wellness is not only a priority in terms of time but money as well; Australians are allocating part of their weekly budget to these products and services, as if we recognise that it’s an investment in ourselves.” He adds that being able to connect socially at a shopping centre cafe or purchase a healthy drink while fulfilling a routine shopping mission has shifted from being perceived as consumerist to an investment in one’s emotional and physical health.
In addition to the notable position of cosmetic products and in-centre beauty services within the budgetary priorities of Australians, the study also illuminated the evolving role of retail design in fostering mental wellbeing. The concept of rest-and-recharge zones within shopping centres proved particularly resonant with Generation Z shoppers for example, with some 42 per cent of QIC customers in this age bracket ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely to use such a space versus 28 per cent of Baby Boomers.
For Dewaele and McCrindle, as outlined in the webinar below, the study confirmed that community-based retail destinations serve as vital crossroads for connection amid the social isolation and mental health challenges stoked by many aspects of modern life. Watch their discussion now for more takeaways from the 2022 study.
Download a handy PDF summary of this study and stay tuned for more research findings in the coming months, including key learnings from the latest census and a deep-dive on the experience economy megatrend.