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ICSC Connect Virtual Series: What health-and-wellness retail will look like after the pandemic

June 8, 2020

While their physical locations are closed during COVID-19, smart health-and-wellness tenants are staying afloat by maintaining online communities with newsletters and virtual classes. However, service-oriented health-and-wellness tenants, such as massage and physical therapy centers, are having a tougher time bringing in revenue and may go under, experts said on a recent ICSC Connect Virtual Series episode called Responding to Consumers’ Vital Wellness Needs.

As consumers settled into lockdowns, sales of health-and-wellness products have been increasing, said Streetsense director of trends and consumer forecasting Jamie Sabat. “Gen Z and Millennials are responding to brands that are focused on boosting your immunity. They’re willing to spend money on supplements, smoothies and prescription services.” Baby Boomer and Gen X consumers still focus most on cleaning products, she said.

In the post-COVID-19 world, expect health-and-wellness brands to collaborate under the same roof. Carlo Pierini president and CEO of urban sweat lodge chain ShapeHouse said that trend had been gaining steam before the pandemic and will become an even bigger one.  “A co-op structure will be very important” for growing wellness brands, he said. Such spaces provide health-and-wellness brands agility and flexibility. “You’re testing a service,” said CBRE global head of retail research Meghann Martindale. “It’s that idea of an incubator space. We don’t know what we’re going to be facing here in the next 12-24 months, so you don’t want to make any big lease commitments. When it comes to expansion strategies, if there [are] ways to creatively test markets, test services, test the water with the consumers, it makes sense.”

The full ICSC Connect Virtual Series episode is available here.

Click to read about and listen to other recent Virtual Series episodes from ICSC

How retailers and cities can use outdoor space for reopening

Top dealmakers on working from home

Retailers want fulfillment help at their shopping centers

COVID-19 liability for shopping center owners

How to make your reopening a success

Full ICSC Connect Virtual Series library

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor/SCT


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