Food, entertainment, hotels, apartments and even large-scale parcel collection points are to be significant features in the next phase of growth for shopping centres.
AMP Capital Shopping Centres managing director Bryan Hynes says shopping centres of the next century will look more like mini cities.
Mr Hynes said shopping centres are still meeting places, but are used in a different manner than 20 years ago. Some people shopped, others ate and others went to the movies, he said.
"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."
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.
The associate director of retail services at CBRE, Leif Olson, said retailers were realigning their businesses to take advantage of the upswing in food retail spending.
The senior retail research manager at CBRE, Tammy Smith, said during the second quarter neighbourhood centres dominated construction activity.
Ms Smith attributed the upswing in neighbourhood shopping centre developments to the increased food retailing turnover.