How do Poles like to have fun at shopping centres?

Colliers International and IQS examined entertainment and leisure offer of shopping centres in Poland

Roughly every tenth Pole regularly uses entertainment and leisure facilities in shopping centres. Therefore, new entertainment and leisure concepts are developing dynamically on the Polish market. Shopping centres in Warsaw, Katowice conurbation, Tricity and Poznań offer most of the attractions to customers – reads the report by Colliers International entitled “Is the change coming? A new dimension of entertainment and leisure in shopping centres”, which was produced in cooperation with IQS firm. The report includes extensive expert commentaries and inspiring examples of solutions in shopping centres in London, Dubai and other locations, which may be applied in Poland in the future.

Preferences of Poles

Only 7% of examined respondents regularly use entertainment and leisure services in shopping centres, yet almost 50% of respondents use such offer occasionally. According to the respondents, the reason for sporadic visits is the lack of an attractive offer. In effect, shopping centres in Poland are still associated chiefly with shopping.

“More than 60% of the respondents use the entertainment and leisure offer of shopping centres on weekends, however, roughly 40% of the respondents visit them for this reason also during the week. Customers are primarily attracted by convenient access to the location (68%), attractiveness of the offer (40%) and familiarity with the shopping centre (31%). What’s interesting, entertainment/ leisure offer in shopping centres is most popular among people raising children,” says Agnieszka Kowalewska, Shopping Centre Research Manager, IQS.

Main attraction offered by shopping centres consists in movie screenings in the cinema. Customers are also eager to go to restaurants, cafes or fast foods. A significant group of respondents also like to participate in events arranged specifically for customers.

Marta Machus-Burek, Partner at Colliers International, Director of Retail Agency

“Shopping centre is not associated with entertainment, but with shopping. In order to give a new character to the facility, it is vital to create an interesting attraction offer and develop the image of the shopping centre as an interesting place for spending free time. What is also important is interior space arrangements in spring/summer seasons, when Poles eagerly spend time outside in the fresh air. For that reason, entertainment space inside of the building is worth creating. Likewise, it is worth to activate neighbouring green areas,” says Marta Machus-Burek, Partner at Colliers International, Director of Retail Agency.

Łódź and Warsaw are most interesting

The report shows that most diverse forms of entertainment and leisure are available in Manufaktura in Łódź and Blue City in Warsaw. When it comes to smaller cities, most interesting ways of spending free time are offered by Millenium Hall and Galeria Nowy Świat in Rzeszów, as well as Galeria Olimp in Lublin and Galeria Sfera in Bielsko-Biała.

“Creation of an interesting entertainment and leisure offer is not dependent on the size of the shopping centre, because it is provided by both smaller (e.g. 20,000 sqm) and bigger facilities (e.g. 130,000 sqm),” says Dominika Jędrak, Research and Consultancy Services Director at Colliers International.

Manufaktura in Łódź

Gastronomy dominates in the capital

Gastronomy is becoming more and more popular form of entertainment. Approximately 35% of the respondents go to restaurants, cafes, fast foods 2-3 times a week, whereas 23% of respondents meet up for a drink or beer.

There are roughly 2,100 gastronomic points operating in shopping centres in Poland’s 18 biggest cities. Half of these are points located in food courts, and around 45% of them are restaurants and cafes in passages. Most of the gastronomic points in shopping centres operate in Warsaw agglomeration (approx. 400), Katowice conurbation (approx. 240) and Poznań (approx. 210), while the lowest number is observed in Toruń and Radom (approx. 30 each) and Częstochowa (approx. 25).

“Gastronomic offer is an inherent part of entertainment and leisure. Shopping centres in the world create extended and interactively managed gastronomic modules, which are becoming places of meetings and fun. These modules have their own identity and brand, as well as curators caring for the attractiveness and diversity of the changing offer (pop-up stores, food trucks). In the evenings, this space changes into music clubs and places vibrant with artistic, social and education activities,” points out Marta Machus- Burek.

Investments in entertainment

Out of 50 examined extensions made between 2013 and 2017 (1st half of the year), even 10 are investments aimed at expanding entertainment and recreation offer. This responds to changing consumers’ habits and growing competition on the shopping centres market.

“Biggest shopping centres being currently developed allocate approx. 15-20% of their space for entertainment, leisure and gastronomy. This is because customers’ satisfaction translates into positive experience and closer attachment to the facility, and increased sales likewise. Entertainment is the factor motivating customers to go beyond the world of virtual shopping at home. In effect, a shopping centre’s efficiency is improving, while entertainment and leisure are becoming its truly added value,” says Marta Machus- Burek.


Examples from the West

One of the traditional elements of entertainment offer in shopping centres are sport attractions. In the world’s best shopping centres, these are not solely limited to fitness club or climbing wall. Customers can use ice shrinks, extreme sports centre, ski jumps and aqua parks with wave for surfers.

Also, new technologies are playing an increasingly important role in developing an attractive offer. At Mall of Dubai, customers can enjoy unforgettable experiences by using, among others, professional flight simulator, thematic VR (virtual reality) cabins, as well as laser games arenas and mirror labyrinths.

Report by Colliers International. 

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Written by: Colliers International