MAPIC 21: Constructive synergies22 December 2021
/ What role can leisure play in the future of retail, and shopping centres in particular? A major one, according to what emerged from the recent MAPIC 2021 trade show in Cannes /
In a complex and ever-changing business such as retail and commercial real estate, opportunities for meetings, discussions and networking between operators are always desirable; now more than ever, given what is happening in the sector globally: for example, shopping centres that are struggling, consumers with new needs and expectations, growing competition from online retailers, new synergies and experiments.
The MAPIC international trade show, held in Cannes from 30 November to 2 December, was therefore an important opportunity for discussion between qualified exhibitors and visitors. To respond to the changes taking place in retail, this year the event set-up 2 new sections, The Happetite and LeisurUp, dedicated respectively to food & beverage and leisure within commercial contexts. LeisurUp above all exceeded the expectations of the organisers (RX Global), occupying 50% of the exhibition space.
Many of the companies that commonly meet at trade shows in the parks and attractions sector also participated: for example, KCC, Walltopia, Lappset Creative, Intamin, BoldMove Nation, Drone Interactive, Play Mart, Mack Rides, Proslide, Zero Latenc, Jora Vision, Convious, Wavesurfer and Project Syntropy, just to name a few.
In the conferences and workshops that made up a very significant part of the event, leisure was again a central topic, underlining how its role is proving to be significant if not vital for the prosperity of retail business. Indeed Games & Parks Industry has often explained the reasons for this in our articles: at a shopping centre, for example, it is a key element of diversification of the offering and appeal to the public, thus giving those who visit the centre an extra reason to stay longer, spend more money and come back again. Leisure – specifically in the form of mechanical rides, playgrounds, climbing walls, surf pools, immersive attractions, virtual reality, themed experiences, escape rooms and even mixes of different proposals – helps establish a relationship with the customer that goes beyond the simple act of purchasing, and that becomes the distinctive magical element compared to online shopping. It creates a bond made up of positive emotions, amazement, fun, sensory stimuli, interactions, memories to share and take home… in essence, it generates engagement and a memorable guest experience that are exactly what consumers are looking for today.
Ian Sandford, president of Eurofund Group, a Madrid-based group active in the mall market on the Iberian Peninsula, in Italy and recently in the United Kingdom too, commented at one of the conferences: “If a visitor is only coming for a specific retailer, then the reasons for them to come could be challenged by the appeal of online retail. However, if consumers are coming for the overall experience, and because they want to spend time with their friends and family, then you have something which the Internet can’t challenge. So to me, that’s the Holy Grail for shopping centres right now.”
Francesco Pupillo, director of LeisurUp & The Happetite, also expressed a similar concept: “The sector must rethink the classic business model that governs the relationship between brands and retail spaces, and consider the power of leisure and F&B. Leisure and F&B activities often require more space but are…
Continue reading Games & Parks Industry 2021, page 42
© All rights reserved