Shopping Centres Must Focus on Entertainment

The times, when a good mall was only characterized by a wide selection of stores, are long gone. Although, the variety of stores will always be an important criterion in terms of shopping space, an increasingly significant role is played by leisure opportunities and entertainment – people are provided with the possibilities to dine, go to the cinema or theatre and even enjoy the beach fun and sports at the shopping centre.

For several years, a factor in positioning shopping centres has been the need to offer more emotions than before to survive in the situation where online sales are gaining ground. This does not only entail purchasing emotions and shopping joy, but the shopping centres themselves should become more like actual entertainment centres. This is necessary to offer interesting activities to representatives of also other age groups besides the teenagers who are already hanging out at the shopping centre, thereby keeping shoppers at the centre for longer periods at a time.

This way, several cinemas and sports clubs have moved to shopping centres to make combining different errands comfortable for customers, for example, enable them to step in at a store or the cinema after visiting the gym. On the other hand, if customers go to the mall for reasons beyond making an essential purchase and spend hours there, lessees of shopping spaces will get an additional chance to increase their sales – the more people pass through the centre and the longer they stay in the building, the more potential customers they will have to entice with their product range.

Elsewhere in the world, initiatives include much more than only cinemas or sports clubs – the centres provide all kinds of entertainment. For example, at the Mall of America shopping centre in Minnesota, USA, visitors may get married, go to the cinema, theme park, comedy club and aquarium, as well as play golf. The Dubai Emirates shopping centre includes both shopping spaces and an ice arena, cinema, exhibition hall and a theatre. At the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, a cinema and water park are available for visitors in addition to the radio station active in the building. The water park also features an internal pond with sea lions.

The trend of establishing grandiose shopping and entertainment centres has also reached the Nordic countries – in Pasila, Helsinki, there are plans to construct the Tripla centre with a unique concept world-wide, adding to shopping pleasures and dining areas by providing year-round surfing and beach volleyball options on an indoor beach with the air temperature of 26 degrees.

The name ‘Tripla’ reflects the centre’s promise to exceed the expectations of all visitors three-fold. On its website, YIT that is developing the shopping mall, quotes the words of Pirjo Allto, the Director of Commercial Investments, that shopping centres need to reposition themselves – in addition to offering shopping opportunities, they should increasingly fulfil people’s social needs. According to Aalto, the Tripla shopping centre will become a city centre that provides shopping opportunities and restaurant services, as well as residential and office spaces, but also attractive cultural events, exhibitions of the Finnish Music Museum, a unique hobby centre located indoors, and comfortable transport links with the rest of the city.

Based on the construction plan, the total area of Tripla is 183,000 square metres. The centre will accommodate five food stores, including Lidl and Prisma. The strength of the shopping centre’s concept is demonstrated by the fact that today, already 50% of the shopping spaces to be opened in 2019–2020, have already been leased. SurfBeach to be opened as part of the shopping centre is a unique project that uses a 6,000 square-metre area in a tube tunnel under the building and offers the opportunity to surf, play beach volleyball and simply enjoy sand on the beach where the air temperature is 26 degrees throughout the year. It is hoped that the annual opportunity to play and practice outdoor team sports also means that the country will achieve better results at competitions. In addition, a 3,000-square-metre innovative adventure park for leisure activities for the whole family has been planned in the underground tunnel.

The indoor beach will be created by Finnish Beach Volley Ltd. and the Surf House Concept company, who have carried out similar projects abroad – in Australia and on the Canary Islands.

“The Pasila beach will have the best conditions among all indoor beaches around the world for playing beach volleyball. It will be a fourth-generation indoor beach that includes both beach volleyball courts as well as saunas and other necessary public spaces,” described Ilkka Lassila, member of the management board of the Finnish Beach Volley Ltd.

Good to know

Based on market studies, the visitors of Mall of Tripla are divided in four client groups:

43% is comprised of sensual buyers who are active and social people who are looking for novel experiences while valuing elegance. They spend generously on innovative goods and services.

26% is made up of practical consumers who primarily base their purchasing decisions on practical requirements, selecting products that fulfil their needs and offer value for money.

17% is made up of emotional buyers who seek adventure and are the first ones to try new products and dine at newly opened restaurants. At the same time, they are not as impulsive as sensual buyers.

12% of buyers are intellectuals who make their choices based on information collected and price review conducted beforehand. Even though they make rational choices, they are willing to pay for a high-quality product and service, if the price is not ridiculously high.

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