Is Mall Entertainment Overrated?

The trouble with myths is that they usually have some elements that sound right, which makes them tough to dispute. The idea that entertainment is a goldmine for malls might just be one of the most widespread myths around.

Yes, you’ll always see a crowd gather in center court if a band steps onto the stage and starts to play. Free runway shows and circus acts will turns heads too, as will a pre-screening party for an anticipated movie blockbuster. But the question is: does entertainment actually have the power to pull consumers away from their other interests—Facebook checks, YouTube videos, TV, sports and anything else they enjoy—and attract them to the mall? And if they do flock to your center in droves because of entertainment, is that necessarily good for your retailers? Obstructed sight lines, traffic that stops flowing into shops—you get the picture. So myth or reality?

Dr. Filipa Fernandes, head of research and innovation at SES Spar European Shopping Centers in Austria, had the courage to at the very least question the value of mall entertainment and conduct some research to get at the truth. She’ll be sharing some of her findings during her presentation at RECon Asia next month.

Entitled, “The Impact of Entertainment Infrastructures on Consumer Behavior in Shopping Centers,” her presentation will focus on four elements:
• The Role of Entertainment in Shopping Centers;
• Entertainment Typology;
• Entertainment, Cross-Shopping and Profitability; and
• New Entertainment Experiences and Case Studies
We’ll report back on her insights.

This week’s marketing idea comes from Shin Kong Place in Beijing and will be of interest to anyone who’s ever been stuck with a “wardrobe malfunction.” Whether it’s a button that falls off a blouse or the hem on a skirt that comes undone, it’s usually not something you can fix that quickly or discreetly. No problem if you’re shopping at Shin Kong Place, though. You can just head down to the posh rest room, which doubles as a fitting room and offers professional sewing services.

See you here again next week.

Myriam Beaugé Editor in Chief, Tactics Magazine

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