Luxury chocolate-maker Godiva has opened an outlet in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre that is more café than traditional store.

The best chocolate shops also function as cafés, or perhaps vice versa, and the new offering in Meadowhall from Belgian outfit Godiva is a case in point. 

This is a ‘store’ of two parts with one area being a counter and servery, where the goodies can be purchased and taken away, and the other being a café where chocolate-related confections and drinks can be consumed at the shopper’s leisure.

The real point, however, is that the serving counter crosses the line between leisure and retail and in fact seems rather more of an introduction to the café – somewhere where there just happens to be chocolates, macarons and suchlike that can be purchased for later.

It is perhaps also symptomatic of the changing nature of both shopping and shopping centres that a chocolate brand functions more as a leisure and hospitality destination within a mall than it does as an old-fashioned upscale confectioner.

By this reckoning, the Meadowhall Godiva store is more about making a shopping trip an occasion than about loading shoppers up with bags and boxes.