June 12, 2020
Fitness clubs, once considered a less appealing option for retailer center owners, became one of the hottest tenant classes before stay-at-home mandates shuttered most of them amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-pandemic, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) advises landlords to consider not only gyms but also the broader spectrum of wellness tenants.
In a new report, ICSC says the concept of “wellness” is less fuzzy than you might think.
“The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a Miami-based organization that seeks to educate the public and private sectors about preventative health and wellness, defines ‘wellness’ as the ‘pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health,’” the report states.
Wellness involves “not merely physical health, but also mental, emotional, spiritual social, and environmental dimensions,” according to ICSC. It also has a dimension of spending power: globally, wellness represented a $4.5-trillion economy in 2019, according to the GWI. Domestically, interest in wellness has spread from the Western U.S. to other regions.
ICSC says that key wellness segments often found in shopping centers include personal care, beauty and anti-aging; healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss; fitness and mind-body; preventative and personalized medicine and public health; and traditional and complementary medicine. Consumers heavily oriented toward wellness buy a wide array of often complementary services and products that sustain their lifestyles, including health food; supplements, vitamins, and minerals; anti-aging and other treatments such as facials, body scrubs, electrolysis, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatments; and alternative medical regimens.
“Whether the goal is maintaining appearance and beauty or extending or merely preserving one’s life, this is an array that shopping center landlords are scrutinizing with more avid interest than ever,” ICSC says.
An ICSC survey has found that 73% of U.S. adults say living a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle in terms of their physical and mental well-being is more of a priority for them today than in the past.
The same ICSC survey reported that 39% of U.S. adults visited wellness tenants in shopping centers during the past year. They averaged 12 trips to wellness services in shopping centers during this period—a figure that rises to 31 trips when those who didn’t visit these tenants at all are excluded. Cost and proximity were their top motivating factors for choosing a facility.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Paul Bubny