The case for shopping centres being viewed as wider leisure destinations has been strengthened by new research from purchasing intelligence platform Cardlytics.

A study which tracked consumers' spending habits at Westfield London shopping centre over the course of a full year found that 58% of the two million visitors it analysed dined out during their trip. According to the research, over a third of shoppers preferred eating out over shopping, with 36% of people spending their money solely in restaurants and eateries while at Westfield.

Cardlytics, which uses purchase-based consumer data from its partnerships with large global banks to help shape businesses' marketing strategies, also reported that people shopping across multiple categories were more likely to visit a restaurant during their time at Westfield. Some 29% of those visiting two categories spent money at a dining outlet, while 28% of those visiting three, four or five categories also spent money on eating out.

Customers who dined in Westfield London reportedly spent on average £21 per trip in quick service restaurants and £33 in casual dining outlets. 

Patrick Venker, UK managing director of Cardlytics, commented: "While Westfield London is unique, we believe this research confirms the emergence of major shopping centres as new dining destinations.

"People eating out in this environment are almost a new category of diner, with different demands and requirements than those dining elsewhere. There is an opportunity for establishments to build an offering to meet the needs of these customers, who may be short of time, but are keen for good-quality, well-priced food."

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Cardlytics