The Retailer - Entertainment

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The focus on ‘Kidult’ consumers shows no signs of slowing, with the emergence in recent years of adult trampolining and obstacle courses. Sydney recently welcomed Holey Moley mini golf bar and its arcade counterpart Archie Brothers and BOUNCE trampoline park and challenge course now has 7 locations across Australia. Timezone Australia is set to open its tenth New South Wales location in Central Park shopping centre Chippendale, on the fringe of the Sydney CBD. 

In 2017 Merlin Entertainments opened Legoland Discovery Centre in Chadstone Shopping Centre Melbourne, the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Gfinity Esports Australia recently announced they are partnering with HOYTS to open an esports arena in Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter. For the uninitiated - esports or gaming areas allow gamers to practise, spectate tournaments and attend events.

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Indoor play centres are now relatively commonplace in what were previously industrial areas. Their popularity has made differentiation a challenge and locations are now using recognised brands and characters such as Shrek’s Adventure, Peppa Pig World, KidZania and Mattel Play!

Despite packing a serious punch, not all entertainment offerings require significant space to operate. Far from the more traditional concepts of theme parks or ice skating rinks, modern entertainment retailers are doing more with less. 

Retailers are utilising existing space in innovative ways, such as Strike Bowling leveraging new trends in entertainment and diversifying, with the addition of escape rooms, karaoke and laser tag in some of their locations. It’s increasingly common to see craft nights in bars and cafes across major cities, where young adults partake in activities such as painting, colouring and flower arranging.

For major developers, entertainment now forms part of a core location strategy and entertainment is frequently committed larger space ratios to meet consumer demand. The inclusion of entertainment, or an experience offering allows retail centres to position themselves as a drawcard location, and it’s no longer unusual for an experience provider to be considered an alternative to a traditional retail anchor tenant.

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The rise and rise of online shopping continually forces retailers and developers to expand in store offerings and create unique positioning. To combat this, providing entertainment retailers a generous allocation of floor space is a sure-fire method of encouraging foot traffic and increasing customer dwell time.

The result is a battle for the next big thing in entertainment, coming soon to a retailer near you.

So what’s next for entertainment?

  • Esports or gaming arenas – gamers can practise in the ‘gym’, spectate tournaments and attend events. Gfinity Esports Australia recently announced they are partnering with HOYTS to open an arena in Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter
  • The popularity of children’s entertainment has made differentiation a challenge. Locations are using recognised brands and characters such as Shrek’s Adventure, Peppa Pig World, KidZania and Mattel Play!
  • Indoor social and competitive sports – Topgolf announced their arrival at Warner Bros. Movie World mid-2018, their first joint venture outside the USA and UK. Organisations Bounce (ping pong) and Flight Club (darts) are also expanding rapidly

For more information and current opportunities, click below for contact details. 


Matt Hudson  | National Director, Head of retail leasing

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