Real estate firm Landsec is showcasing experience-led retail across its portfolio this summer, with new installations being unveiled in time for the school summer holidays.
With the pound falling to a 10-month low last week and unprecedented hot weather continuing to defy expectations, an increasing number of Britons are opting to stay home this summer, rather than going on holiday.
Landsec has announced a range of experience-led installations in a bid to attract the millions of ‘staycationers’ who will remain in the UK this summer.
Trinity Leeds shopping centre has installed an 18-meter long, eight-meter tall robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex (video here), as the shopping centre continues to focus on creating unique customer experiences.
The animatronic T-Rex is the UK’s largest and was unveiled at Trinity Leeds on Saturday by the Leeds Children’s Mayor.
The dinosaur, which can move and roar, will be at the centre for six weeks.
Bluewater has opened an urban beach, complete with swimming pools, fairground rides and live performance areas. The 73,000 sq ft. beach attraction also offers guests the chance to take part in seaside inspired workshops.
Other summer events include an open-air cinema at Clarks Village, a virtual reality gaming centre at Gunwharf Quays, a daily drama performance at Westgate, Oxford and an Aardman animations Wallace and Gromit trail at White Rose, Leeds.
‘Staycationing’ follows an economic trend of consumers cutting back on big-ticket items like holidays abroad when external pressures affect their international purchasing power, instead choosing to spend domestically. ONS retail sales data demonstrate the trend with Q2 retail sales climbing 2.1% compared with the same period last year, marking the strongest result for a calendar quarter since 2004.
Russell Loveland, senior portfolio director, Landsec, said: “Increasingly, retail destinations are having to go the extra mile in winning the attention of shoppers in an increasingly competitive market.
“If done properly, forward-looking landlords can tailor the experiences they offer to target specific types of shopper, and our summer experiences do exactly that.
“At Landsec, we believe that everything is experience. Our installations, from an urban beach to a giant T-Rex, are a great example of how we ensure that our retailers, and their customers, get as much benefit from our events programme as possible.
“These types of initiatives are more than just an industry trend. Shoppers are now more discerning than ever, and providing unique and compelling experiences for them is not just nice-to-have: it’s business critical.”
Craig Lowe, events co-ordinator at The Entertainer in Trinity Leeds, said: “This type of installation is a win-win, as retailers like us enjoy greater footfall of our target demographic, while customers are able to enjoy exciting experiences and activities.”
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