The changing shape of shopping centres
As the way we all shop changes, what is the role of shopping centres? Retail Week recently did a survey in partnership with Intu to find out what people want from shopping centres which highlights how they are changing. One clear trend is that people are seeing shopping centres as more of a destination, not just somewhere to shop. While 48% of people do go purely to shop, 41% go for a mix of shopping, eating and drinking and leisure and 11% go only for leisure and eating and drinking. 58% say they want restaurants at shopping centres, while 21% want gyms and cinemas.
Interestingly, 32% of people say that the entertainment on offer determines whether they visit ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’ – it is a differentiator for shopping destinations. As the age of the people decreases, this figure rises – jumping 8-10% with each age bracket as they get younger, pointing to the importance of experience only increasing in the future. 50% of 18-24-year olds say that the entertainment on offer can affect their decision to visit a shopping centre.
The survey also looked at where people choose to shop overall. Town centres are still the most frequent location choice for shopping, a choice mainly driven by convenience. Two thirds still tend to shop at their local high street or shopping centre, but with 65% of people unsure whether they will visit shopping centres more or less over the next 18 months, there is a definite opportunity for retailers to affect consumer shopping behaviour. It seems clear in order to attract shoppers retailers will have to make them into destinations, with experience at the forefront.
CALM: Project 84
In a very powerful campaign, CALM, in partnership with Mark Jenkins and bereaved friends and families who have lost someone to suicide, have created 84 sculptures of men currently installed on the roof of ITV Tower and the This Morning studio. There are 84 because that is the number of men who take their own life every week in the UK.
National Portrait Gallery of Prague: Touching Masterpieces
The National Portrait Gallery of Prague has created a VR experience to allow blind and visually impaired people to touch and feel the world’s most famous sculptural masterpieces. The VR experience is produced through a pair of gloves using haptic technology.
Selfridges: Edible Drink Packaging
With the continuing drive to reduce our plastic usage, Selfridges have this week unveiled the world’s first edible drinks packaging. The fully bio-degradable spheres are made of seaweed.