Attention shoppers! Here's one good reason to power down your laptop and head over to your local mall: increasingly awesome food options.
With the growing popularity of online shopping, malls and stores just aren't seeing the amount foot traffic they once did—and the downward spiral of shopping IRL is having a serious impact on both commercial real estate and conventional retailers. We've all seen those spooky images of abandoned megamalls and shopping centers around the world, right? Well, now, some malls in Canada are doing something about it—and that something is a concerted effort to lure shoppers back by appealing to their taste buds.
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According to a report in the Toronto Star, malls in the Greater Toronto Area are heavily investing in expanded food courts—like the Scarborough Town Centre, which has recently rolled out the beginnings of its $37 million dining options makeover, or Sherway Gardens, which unveiled a chandelier-decorated 1,000-seat "Gourmet Fare" food pavilion late last year. "I think you're going to see the percentage of food increase in shopping centers across the board," Scarborough's general manager Robert Horst told the paper. "We've already seen that trend start to happen in the U.S."