Centres of attraction

Shopping centres and malls draw crowds throughout the Christmas shopping period. Elena Miles, Commercialisation Executive at Mall Solutions Europe explores the opportunities for brand and IP owners when consumers are in the mood to spend

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 07.12.2018 | Retail

Centres of attraction thumbnail

In an uncertain retail world, shopping centres remain unique destinations that can offer those among us who are tired of dull High Streets or the loneliness of the long-distance online shopper, a richer, more satisfying experience, particularly at Christmas.

Given the increasing effort and investment centres are putting into creating a well-rounded offering with total family appeal, they present brand and licence owners with exciting opportunities to connect with the widest range of audience groups at this peak selling time.

With an average dwell time of 100 minutes, a purchase conversion rate of 82 per cent, and £98 average spend per visit, the statistics speak for themselves — those who visit shopping centres are ready and willing to engage and to buy and this couldn’t be truer than at this time of year.

While finding gifts for others is still the mainstay of a Christmas trip to a shopping centre – toys always loom large on any shopping list – ‘self-treating’ is on the up with more and more people splashing out on presents and experiences for themselves. Our research reveals that for many shoppers, food is now a key seasonal priority with the emphasis very much on festive treats and Christmas dinner. Despite the lower levels of consumer confidence, shoppers will this year spend an estimated £500m more on food than they did in 2016.

All this is why brands in all sectors, from Mercedes and Lexus through to Lego, Ikea and Nintendo, choose to promote themselves and their products at shopping centres.

Whether the aim is to sell directly, generate buzz though launch events, or gather immediate feedback from real customers without the expense of separate trials, shopping centres possess a flexible infrastructure (kiosks, signage and multi-level space) that can be tailored to meet those requirements.

Christmas retail success is always dependent on tapping into the trends that currently resonate. This year, some of the hot buttons for brands will be how to find ways to become more than a store, perhaps by putting ‘digital into the physical’, selling online in-store, or getting up close and personal with technologies like AI.

So, this is certainly the time to reimagine your retail space and experiment with experience to create a new magical reality that pulls in shoppers and encourages them to try, try and try again before they buy.

So, how best to capitalise on these opportunities not just this Christmas but next year?

Rather than dealing directly with centres themselves, brands often look to agencies to manage their presence there. While that may seem the obvious and convenient route, it’s invariably the costliest option and one that may not produce the best results.

It can often instead make more sense to work through commercialisation specialists with a portfolio of centres. Not only does that immediately strip out a layer of middleman cost, meaning that budget can be reallocated to deepen the experience or achieve wider exposure, it also enables the creation of much more tailored regional and national campaigns.

For example, as the UK’s leading commercialisation provider we can offer 100 retail spaces, which allows us to put together the best possible combination of locations for our clients based on appropriate demographics, footfall and impact, rather than what’s most profitable for an agency.

As commercialisation specialists, we also have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips across the whole of our portfolio, based on previous experience.

Agencies, on the other hand, have to acquire this invaluable information from multiple centres to identify the best possible options before they can begin implementation. That’s a time-consuming process, at the end of which they still probably have an incomplete picture.

So, our service is based on much more than just a standard transactional client-agency relationship. In an ever-changing retail environment that constantly demands innovative solutions and new strategies, that’s incredibly important at any time of year, but especially so if you want to enjoy a very Merry Christmas.


Registration remains open for the 72nd Spielwarenmesse thumbnail

Registration remains open for the 72nd Spielwarenmesse

The closing date for Spielwarenmesse 2021 has been deferred for new exhibitors and the range of services has been extended

ToyAid sees toy, entertainment and licensing companies join forces for good thumbnail

ToyAid sees toy, entertainment and licensing companies join forces for good

ToyAid’s June campaign, “Buy Some Toys for Make Some Noise”, aims to raise as much money as possible to help ...

Xilam Animation names Licensing Works! North American agent for Zig & Sharko thumbnail

Xilam Animation names Licensing Works! North American agent for Zig & Sharko

Licensing Works! is now assembling a merchandise programme for the hit animated slapstick comedy brand targeting kids, tweens, teens and ...

Press Releases

Energizer spotlights Masha the Bear thumbnail

Energizer spotlights Masha the Bear

Animaccord and Energizer partner on Masha and the Bear licensed torches, heading to retail across EMEA in 2020

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020 thumbnail

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020

Kids’ TV channel expands its Sesame Street content with new series of short-form, interactive episodes

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2 thumbnail

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2

UK kids’ block acquires second series of the Millimages pre-school animation after successful first run

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice thumbnail

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice

Moorcroft and RHS present the limited-edition vase Chelsea’s Choice, celebrating Chelsea Flower Show 18 Plant of the Year