Food, entertainment, hotels, apartments and even large-scale parcel collection points are to be significant features in the next phase of growth for a shopping centre.
AMP Capital Shopping Centres managing director Bryan Hynes says shopping centres of the next century will look more like mini cities.
Mr Hynes is overseeing the $390 million redevelopment of the Macquarie Centre in Sydney's north-west and said shopping centres had to cater for everyone to remain relevant.
"At the Macquarie Centre, we are redeveloping the department stores, Myer and David Jones, to their own specifications and any extra space from them will be allocated to a range of new international brands," Mr Hynes said.
"We are retaining the very popular skating rink, while also expanding the food court, with an emphasis on fresh-food retailers."
Mr Hynes said shopping centres are still meeting places, but are used in a different manner than 20 years ago, and added that some people shopped, others ate and others went to the movies.
"We see a shift in the Australian landscape, with more inner living and higher-density apartments, with the residents wanting a live, work and play lifestyle, which incorporates a shopping centre," Mr Hynes said.
"At Macquarie we have the university, and the 60,000-square-metre town centre, who will use the mall for leisure and entertainment."
Stockland also earmarked $222 million for the redevelopment of its Wetherill Park shopping centre.
This will see a revamp of the 12 Hoyts cinemas, a larger food court and new cafes that can turn into after-hours eateries.
The chief executive of commercial property at Stockland, John Schroder, said shopping centres kept reinventing themselves to reflect their community.
In time, agents said, hotels and residential developments would appear in and around a mall.
According to CBRE's Australia marketview report for the second quarter of 2013, overall, retail turnover growth remained soft over the 12 months to June 2013, rising by 1.1 per cent, although food retailing increased by 3.6 per cent, which outpaced non-food retail sales.
Food- and convenience-based non-discretionary spending now accounts for 55 per cent of sales in the retail sector, up from 51 per cent five years ago.