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As competition continues to grow within the commercial sector, attracting the most popular retailers who will pay the most per sqm is paramount to staying ahead. Increasing dwell time has been proven to increase consumer spend, this has been verified by various bodies of research. The theory is basic, the more time people want to stay in their commercial environment, the more they are likely to spend. Davinder Jheeta, Creative Director of Simply Fresh states “The longer customers spend in-store, the more they are likely to purchase on impulse, shopping is a rational versus an emotional experience. The rational side looks at things like price, but it’s an emotional decision that completes the purchase.” (Source: Talking Retail)

How do we play on a consumer’s emotive response to their environment? Housing the top retailers within the industry is key in attracting consumers and achieving a top rate for retail space is an obvious goal, but how do we keep customers in their retail environment all day, and keep them coming back?

A flourishing trend within the sector is to house multiple functions within a retail space. Shopping malls with cinemas, attractions and family entertainment centres are far more likely to increase the dwell time of their visitors. They create an environment that has multiple focuses. When Dubai Mall opened in 2009, its received 39 million visitors within its first year, quickly becoming the world’s second most visited mall. Since then, the mall has increased its attractions, with additions such as the Dubai Mall Aquarium, which sold 61,000 tickets within its first 5 days of opening, Sega Republic, KidZania and multiple cinemas. Visitor numbers and increased non-retail attractions have a direct correlation. In its first 6 years the average annual increase of visitors is around 8.8 million per annum. In 2015, 92 million consumers visited this mall. Throughout years of economic unrest, this mall has flourished, there are examples worldwide similar to this, where large retail spaces have utilised their ‘extra’ space to increase dwell time through non-retail means.

The answer of how to increase dwell time within retail spaces is simple, when retail isn’t enough to draw consumers through the door, there needs to be another reason. The non-retail functions within these spaces attract visitors, and importantly, repeat visitors. More consumers have a direct, positive impact on revenue for stores and retailers, meaning large retail forums can drive a higher price for their leasable spaces. The result being satisfied visitors, confident store owners and successful retail space owners and a more sustainable future for this industry.

Come and see Paragon Creative’s latest concepts at Stand P1-D14. www.paragon-creative.co.uk


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About Author

Tim North

Development Manager - Products & Licensing at Paragon Entertainment. Within Paragon Creative, Tim heads up the Products & Branded Attractions division and is thoroughly excited to be involved in an industry leading market at such an exciting time for both Paragon and their roster of operators and brand partners worldwide, already creating some world class attractions for brilliant brands from around the world.

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