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Entertainment is a way to attract customers to the shopping center

In times of intense ecommerce development, shopping malls are less and less focused on traditional shopping, putting a greater emphasis on entertainment functions.

Centers aspire to become a meeting place for city dwellers and deliver their clients unique experiences. That is why they gladly take under their roof tenants offering various activities for children and adults, which are not available online. Therefore, the managers of shopping centers decide to introduce special educational zones (kindergartens, community centers, libraries), cultural (cinemas, theater stages, exhibition spaces) or spaces with access to Virtual Reality technologies.

According to the Colliers International report, newly created commercial investments allocate about 15-20 percent of its offer for entertainment, recreation and gastronomy. A few years ago, this coefficient was 5-7 percent. Other data indicate that the market  share of shopping centers with an entertainment area in Poland increased from 17% in 2011 up to 31% in 2018. In turn, the research company IQS states that 40 to 60 percent of respondents in Poland use the entertainment and recreational offer of shopping centers, depending on the day of the week.

An example of a shopping center with an extensive entertainment offer is Madrid Xanadu in Spain, which in addition to 250 stores, multiplex and bowling alley attracts customers also with an indoor ski slope, go-kart track, amusement park and mini golf. In the Mall of Dubai, on the other hand, unforgettable experiences deliver professional flight simulator, thematic Virtual Realty cabins or mazes of mirrors. The Grand Canal Shoppes shopping center in Las Vegas is an imitation of the Italian Venice, so you can even go there with a gondola between the shops.

In Poland, the most entertaining shopping centers include Warsaw Blue City and Manufaktura in Łódź. In the Warsaw center there are, among others, squash halls, children’s playground and miniature golf. In turn, Manufaktura offers, among others, climbing wall, as well as the internal square (market), where concerts, festivals and outdoor events take place. This trend is also noticeable in smaller cities. In the Tkalnia shopping and entertainment center, which will open in the first half of 2019 in Pabianice, we will find, among others, the first multiplex in the city, there will be also access to the golf course. There are also plans to build a salt cave and a shooting range.

The demand for entertainment in shopping centers is a fact, however, owners of shopping centers should always adapt their offer to the preferences of the inhabitants of a given city. The entertainment concept, which is attractive to customers of a larger urban area, will not necessarily work in a smaller town. The entertainment offer should meet the needs of customers and at the same time distinguish the shopping center among the competitors. Entertainment is therefore a chance, but also a challenge for the owners of the centers.

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