Paul Barham, founder of Flight Club, at MAPIC leisure preview

Retail property event MAPIC is to have an extensive leisure component this year involving a series of talks and workshops and an exclusive leisure zone as the industry recognises the importance of seeking out new revenue streams.

Changes in consumer behaviour and declining footfall has taken its toll on physical retail pure players and the property sector is now looking at other avenues to attract customers.   As traditional anchor tenants require less space, leisure can be used to fill the surplus square footage, while offering customers something which cannot be replicated online. It also provides other benefits such as increased dwell time, increasing repeat visits, widening a centre’s catchment area and differentiation from competitors.

Research from Leisure Development Partners in partnership with MAPIC, published in a White Paper this month, shows that bringing a leisure concept into a retail space increases its footfall by 2-4% and the retail spend by between 2-16%.

Nathalie Depetro, director of MAPIC, says: “As the digital revolution has caused consumer behaviours to transform, customers are now craving experiences, conviviality, socialisation, education and new discoveries. Supporting prosperous leisure time will be a challenge for the entire industry, as cities and districts have to become better places to live. We are committed to embracing this change, which is why this new event is being launched at this specific time.”

In addition, on the day before MAPIC a dedicated Leisure event is being launched involving leisure operators ranging from e-gaming and theme parks to live music, museums, art galleries, wellness and food, as well as retailers, brand owners, suppliers, urban planners, media, architects and property developers.

This first edition of the event will consist of a full dedicated day with key topics including Emerging Leisure Concepts, and Screen-Based Entertainment Concepts, as well as a total of six Learning Sessions with themes ranging from Becoming a Destination: Shopping Mall Repositioning with Entertaining Experiences to Food & Leisure: The Winning Combination.

Among the speakers will be Andreas Veilstrup Andersen, executive vice president of Tivoli Gardens, the world-renowned amusement park located in central Copenhagen, which opened before the Disney theme parks.

“There is a fine line between retail, attractions and other types of leisure, and that line has become thinner over time. Things are changing rapidly, and we will see all kinds of destinations competing with each other in the future,” he says.

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider