The range of restaurants on offer is key to young people's decisions on where to shop.
That's according to property agency Savills, which has conducted research looking at what choices different age groups make when eating out.
The research found that Generation Z (16-24 year olds) and Generation Y (25-34 year olds) rated choice of restaurants as 6.1 and 6.4 out of 10 respectively (where 10 is very important) in determining where to shop for fashion, compared with an average of 4.9 across all age groups.
The trend was more pronounced in London, it said, where the importance of the F&B offer in choosing where to shop was rated as 7.2 by Generation Y and 6.2 by Generation Z. Across all age groups, the average importance rating was also highest in London at 6.1, followed by 5.0 in both Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East.
Savills also highlighted the finding that the less frequently a consumer shops, the more likely they are to visit an F&B operator on that trip.
An average of 73.2% of consumers who shop every two weeks visit a food outlet, dropping to just 31.9% for those who shop at least once a week. Frequency of eating out while shopping also varies by geography and age group, and is highest among younger consumers. Savills said 17.8% of Generation Z eat out while shopping once a week, compared with 11.1% for the Baby Boomer+ group (55+ years). This disparity is more prominent in London, where 27.8% of Generation Z and 8.9% of BabyBoomer+ visit a restaurant while shopping once a week.
Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, said: "Retailers are facing a number of challenges in 2017 with the revaluation of business rates, minimum wage, weaker consumer confidence and structural shifts in the way we shop. All of this could put pressure on store portfolios. Those locations that are ‘attractive' places to shop are likely to remain desirable to retailers, with our research suggesting that part of that desirability is based on the variety and quality of the location's food offer, particularly if wanting to attract more younger shoppers."
Mark Simms, head of shopping centre agency at Savills, added: "F&B operators have been particularly active over the last three years. While their influence on shopper behaviour varies geographically, in many cases the F&B offer is a significant factor in determining where consumers choose to shop and frequency of visits as well as having a positive effect on dwell time. In turn, this creates the opportunity for landlords and retailers to convert at least some of that into retail spend."