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The New York Times has a story about how food courts are being taken to the next level, as developers now are focusing on opening food halls, which “typically mix local artisan restaurants, butcher shops and other food-oriented boutiques under one roof. Many celebrate quirkiness versus uniformity, and their ability to draw crowds is particularly appealing to landlords battling the growth of e-commerce and changing shopping habits.”

The Times goes on: “Food halls have been around for years, especially in Europe. But the concept is becoming increasingly popular in the United States as consumers demand healthier and better-tasting ‘quick casual’ food options in entertaining environments, observers say. The number of food halls operating in the United States is expected to exceed 200 in 2019, about double the number that were open in late 2016, said Pamela Flora, director of research for Cushman & Wakefield. That would also be a roughly 700 percent increase since 2010, according to research compiled by the brokerage firm.”
KC's View:
This doesn’t necessarily apply to every market, but I’m intrigued by the idea that customers may respond better to quirkiness than uniformity … especially because changing things up and being less regimented is one way that traditional retail can be a little less traditional and compete better with the likes of Amazon on one end and Lidl/Aldi on the other.

Sometimes, a little messiness can be an advantage.