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Shopping malls and festivities

Shopping malls and festivities

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These days most shopping malls play dual role of trade centres as well as entertainment funspots, especially during major festivities. TONIA DIYAN who visited some malls within Lagos metropolis and its environs during the just-concluded Eid-il-Mubarak festival, captures the sight and sound. 

These days,  shopping malls are fast becoming entertainment power house of some sort.

The reason is to attract customers. To achieve that, they add something extra particularly during festivals. That extra is entertainment. To get people to buy, you have to get them there, and the entertainment co-efficient in a mall is something that builds traffic. This is the logic behind many malls – something to lure people to the place, then, they can shop.

The crowd at Ikeja City Mall on Tuesday and Wednesday being Sallah points to this fact. The presence of eateries and cafes will always explain the affinity between shopping and leisure.

A visit to the Adeniran Ogunsanya Mall, Surulere, Lagos, was enthralling as well as revealing because it became the preferred destination for residents who not only wanted to shop but to get a dose of entertainment too. The mall became an instant hit with its music, lightings and appealing ambience which made people contented to just look around, window shop or simply relax.

The cinemas at Leisure Mall also in Adeniran Ogunsanya in Surulere as well as the array of eateries  at the mall were among the side attractions that endeared many there. The idea is to get people there and actual shopping could follow; and what could really lure people if not a conducive environment to unwind, and an inviting place to shop?

For example, Stand Up Nigeria comedy show at the cinema at the City Mall, Onikan, draws a good number of people to the mall.

Same goes with child care stores. Children’s clothiers, such as Jack N Jill, Kids Country. Play Zone which entertains the children with games and all kinds of toys to play with while their parents shopped for them.

Mrs Ereduwa Gbadebo, former  Broll Cheif Executive Officer in charge of shopping malls in the country once said:  “We are trying to push a retail revolution; create a fun place where people can come in with their families to shop and have fun. It comprises the cinema, the textile shops, restaurants and a lot of other relaxation and shopping centres. That is what my company, Broll is trying to lead – a destination centre where you have to come in the morning and don’t have to leave till evening; something different that we are proud of. “The whole family can go shopping together. Take the children along. They can spend like two hours at the cinema watching a good movie. You can go to the jewellery store, there are clothing stores, shoes stores, super market, computer electronics and other items you need. When you are  done with shopping, go pick your children and visit the restaurant or eatery. It is all encompassing”.

Many people who spoke to The Nation Shopping at these shopping malls affirmed that they are mostly there to catch some fun. “Of course, I come here to shop but the place is fun packed, I also want to catch some fun at the bar upstair,”said Mr Kayode Ogunlaja, at Ikeja City Mall.

For Mrs Romoke Abdulkareem, at days like these, there is more to the mall than just shopping. “I am a retailer on the Mainland. Aside shopping and having fun, I have come here to catch inspiration for my business. For instance, I have added a lounge as an extension of my store; it even attracts more people who relax, wine, dine and eventually shop!” she exclaimed.

Like Mr Ogunlaja, shopping centres incorporate dining and entertainment to their mix to make their centres recreational shopping destinations and to drive frequency of visits and length-of-stay. “Today, we are moving to an experience economy where what consumers want are experiences-memorable experiences which engage them in an inherently personal way”. Joe Pine, noted in his book, ‘The Experience Economy’.

Some shopping malls  devote up to 35 per cent or more of their ‘store’ GLA to entertainment, restaurants and cinemas. When entertainment is incorporated into a shopping complex, it is sometimes referred to as a retail entertainment center (RECs).

With over 75 per cent of shopping trips and purchase decisions being made by women, it is important to meet a woman’s needs at shopping destinations. This often also means meeting the needs of children when they accompany their mother on a shopping trip. Experts are also rising up in shopping centre design, development and management, market research, designing family-friendly facilities for entertainment, education and play.

What originally began as a method to keep children busy while their parents shopped has evolved into experiential retail – creating an environment that kids and their parents enjoy being in and that they won’t soon forget.



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