Investors, developers, retailers and all the other F&B and entertainment operators, highlighted the need to not only adapt to the changing scenario but also to be ready to keep adapting. This means that there should be less emphasis on the traditional approaches and greater use of digital innovation, flexible spaces and collaboration. This will also demand from brands to provide a greater connection with their consumers and for operators and destinations to realise how their consumers’ demands have changed and adapted their offer so as to take advantage of the opportunities.
Entertainment and leisure to reinvent retail
«Entertainment does not dilute the retail experience, it intensifies it», said Jonathan Doughty, global head of Foodservice, Leisure & Placemaking at ECE, by establishing a roadmap to determine where entertainment and leisure fit as retail destinations. «An owner needs to decide which investment he needs. The numbers increase as the attraction increases. But you need to make sure that the attraction also works with the place», he added.
Reinhart Viane, Business Development Director at KCC Entertainment Design, added about the investment strategies that «in the Middle East, owners see investment in entertainment as a way to make people come to their shopping centres. In Europe and the United States there is always the question of who will invest and who will operate. I believe that entertainment is one of the boosting strategies that should be integrated since the beginning. But it should also be a flexible space».
This subject was also addressed by Howard Samuels, Samuels & Company’s president and CEO, who assured that the entertainment space should be in «constant change and be flexible», while also reflecting: «Are there opportunities to reinvent? We will have to ask: Why would people leave? But we also need to see the complexity. The whole world needs to adopt digital platforms. The future can be bright if people take the time and energy to understand it»
The change was a subject addressed by Michael López, senior vice-president at American Wave Machines, who described sports and leisure as a «great mix» and said: «We reinvent our technology each year, to avoid it becoming obsolete».
The best time to invest in mixed-use products?
«People still want to gather, that has not changed. It is about how they are gathering and what they want. What we ask is authenticity and creativity, something that we encourage», said Winston Fisher, Area15-Fisher Brothers’ CEO, when reflecting on the need to develop in order to reformulate the business foundations.
This was a subject which was picked up by all speakers who urged all participants to reconsider the rules and leave the traditional models behind. «The golden years of spending little and earning more are behind us», said Philippe Journo, Compagnie de Phalsbourg’s CEO. «In the cities, you have the possibility of becoming anything, housing, retail or mixed-use. You can create new urban centres. The past is the past. We need to look ahead and change», he remarked.
While handling a more conventional portfolio, Matthijs Storm, Wereldhave Management Holding’s CEO, presented an equally radical proposition. «When we started developing the new strategy, about a year ago, we looked at what we had built», he recalled. «We considered what we would build if we started from scratch. In some places, we could change more than 50% of our units. We replaced around 10% of retail with mixed-use and we expect to reach one third», he revealed.
To find this news report in full and in Spanish click: HERE.