Is there a future for a European Art of Retailtainment?

May 2, 2019 / Gilles Devendeville
Annual Retailtainment Technologies Summit

People want to have Fun

A recent study in Forbes shows that 72 % of millennials choose experiences over material items as a way of “purchasing happiness.“

This is exactly what retailtainment aims at: creating experiences in shopping malls.

There are however countless ways of appealing to new customers and creating indoor leisure destinations, but all landlords agree that leisure is a new anchor helping to create a successful tenant mix.

In 2018, MAPIC will enhance this emerging retail shift with a Leisure Summit that will address the increasing importance of retailtainment.

While Emirates are developing iconic projects, is there a future for a European Art of Retailtainment?

Entertainment and malls were not born in Europe

America is not only the mother nation of Disney or Hollywood studios, it also created most of first leisure and theme parks. This is the reason why America remains a leader in retailtainment destinations and mega malls.

A major market innovator like Triple Five Group has demonstrated the model called “hyper-entertainment” for several years with their mega-mall at amusement parks in West Edmonton and Mall of America and, more recently, American Dream, which is currently under construction.

American Dream

Emerging markets have even raised the bar

By trying to diversify their economy by adding leisure and entertainment to create attractive destinations, many emerging markets have raised the bar in terms of scale and amounts invested.

China hosts more than 100 Amusement Parks while Dubai changed the game in terms of indoor attractions in Dubai Mall or Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi with direct pedestrian links to Yas Mall, has even been rewarded as the best theme Park globally.

Even Saudi Arabia’s is building the Qiddiya Entertainment City that includes theme parks, a safari Park and a motor sport facility.

Qiddiya Entertainment City

Europe has no ambition to compete with this “Hyper – Entertainment“ model

When considering these mega malls, virtual reality parks or entertainment cities, I do not say we cannot achieve it in Europe. There are examples such as Westfield London, Parques Reunidos (Nickelodeon Adventure in Murcia) and the attempt of Immochan and Wanda on Europacity in France. However, these examples are not the common standard.

Hyper – Entertainment
If It is all about experience, let’s make it fun!

It is all about experience and there are countless pillars to engage the customer to become a guest and to switch from consumer to “ consum’actor “.

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