Retail parks increasing dwelltime and the level of visits

Retail park increase dwelltime

The retail industry has seen some significant changes in the past decade with the reported decline of the high street, the growth of online shopping and impact on retail shopping centres. Research conducted in 2018 by CACI surveyed over 230 retail centres and identified trends in reduced frequency, dwell time and retail spend. Clearly, COVID-19 has further impacted on the retail offers.

Consumer expectations are changing but opportunities are there for forward thinking retail centres and retail parks to enhance the destination retail experience, offering a more experiential shopping experience. Good accessibility, the range and quality of brands, the provision of catering and free parking help to attract visitors.

One of the challenges for retail centre managers is to reverse the trend of decreasing dwell time. Traditionally, leisure in retail parks has centred around food and beverage operators. The catering market is incredibly competitive with several major operators collapsing in recent years.

Retailers are now increasingly turning to leisure tenants who will increase dwell times during the day and importantly help to engage with new audiences and customers. Clip’n’climb, trampolining and soft play are becoming regular retail park attractions, driving footfall throughout the year and offering an all-weather multi-generational visitor experience. Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield is targeting a variety of audiences with a ‘Rock-up’ climbing offer. Many retail parks located out of town in rural locations are also utilising the additional resource of external space for investment. Rushden Lakes, is a multi-million-pound development in Northamptonshire. Rushden Lakes sits within a nature reserve which has been a key selling point for the retail scheme. Cycle hire, canoe hire and a wetland visitor centre encourage visitors to stay longer to enjoy an immersive experience. Everards Meadow presents a different type of experience which incorporates a café, cycle hire and sales offers and beer hall, alongside attractive outdoor spaces. In July ‘18, Springfields Outlet in Lincolnshire opened Adventure Land. The park features a JCB young driver’s zone and treetop village among its highlights. Adventure Land at Springfields Outlet Shopping and Leisure is operated by Planning Solutions Limited, the sister company of Planning Solutions Consulting.

How can we help?

From a leisure and customer experience perspective if you are seeking to increase dwelltime and engage with new customers at a retail centre we help you to identify and evaluate opportunity to help your retail centre to evolve their offer and build a sustainable future. For more details contact please don’t hesitate to phone or email Richard Linington on 023 9248 1999.