Skip to main content

MAPIC Leisure to highlight the growth of retailtainment, a paradigm shift in the retail sector

MAPIC LEISURE SUMMIT entertainment leisure

In 2018, MAPIC will embrace the new retail shift: a paradigm placed under the label of customer experience. November’s MAPIC Leisure conference will address the increasing importance of “retailtainment”.

As leisure has become a compulsory component of retail destinations, the international retail real estate event will place location-based attractions, Family Entertainment Centres, leisure pop-ups, and wellness / health centre stage.

Nathalie Depetro mapic leisure entertainment leisureBy Nathalie Depetro, Director of MAPIC.

Why is leisure so vital for retail destinations today?

With online sales booming, traditional retail spaces (high-street, shopping centres, travel hubs, etc.) have no other choice but to completely review their marketing and leasing strategy. Retail destinations need to continue to adapt to consumer demands and adopt new ways to enhance the customer shopping experience in order to remain relevant.

In the wake of online competition, many savvy landlords now perceive a major opportunity to increase footfall by rebranding shopping centres as an experience / event-space in order to encourage customers to spend more time in-store, where they’ll be more likely to purchase on impulse, shopping is a rational versus an emotional experience. The rational side looks at things like price, but it’s an emotional decision that completes the purchase.

Europa City-Alliages mapic leisure entertainment
Europa City

What are the hottest trends in leisure?

Location-based attractions such as bowling and climbing walls and traditional playgrounds still remain must-haves. What’s new, however, is that landlords don’t see leisure as a mere lease space anymore. Instead, they see it as a marketing solution to invest in in order to increase footfall and dwell time.

Pop-up leisure installations such as The VOID’s Star Wars (below) at Westfield in London have become very popular amongst millennials. They are usually used for the occasion of retail destination openings, or to create regular exciting events.

star wars the void leisure entertainment

In-door entertainment centers (FEC) such as Nickelodeon Adventure – developed by Parques Reunidos (MAPIC Leisure Zone 2017 sponsor) – have also become an outstanding leverage for landlords to seduce families.

Last but not least, at a time where workers need time-savvy solutions, health, wellness and beauty offer have become an essential part of any landlord tenant mix. Leisure has become an essential part of customer experience and retail destinations need to become “small-cities” with a complete offer of services.

What are the biggest challenges for retail destinations and leisure operators?

How to implement it?

For a long time, landlords’ leasing and marketing teams have been the ones ensuring that leisure is part of the tenant mix. It’s been a couple years however, that in the US and Middle-East, landlords have started hiring leisure specialists. In Europe, the phenomenon has yet to come and leisure is mostly the COO’s matter. However, the fact that Unibail Rodamco recently acquired Westfield to become “the world’s premier developer and operator of flagship shopping destinations” proves that leisure is becoming integral to their retail development strategy.

MAPIC 2017 in cannes retail entertainment

The other main challenge for leisure in retail destinations is about the managing of investments and operations. Who can finance such infrastructures? Who operates the attraction? These will be issues to address in the coming years.

In 2018, MAPIC will embrace the new retail shift ‘ 14-16 November 2018, leisure will be placed center stage:


In order to facilitate and encourage the matching of offer and demand for leisure, MAPIC is launching the first MAPIC Leisure Summit, co-organised with AECOM. In just three hours, attendees will be able to get valuable insights from leisure experts. They will share case studies and best-practices related to financing, security, IP, and many other challenges the industry encounters.

MAPIC LEISURE ZONE leisure talks


Within the last 3 years, the MAPIC Leisure Zone has become a very important part of MAPIC’s offer. To keep up with the industry, MAPIC Leisure Zone will now diversify its offer. They will now showcase not only entertainment solutions, but also wellness and beauty, VR solutions and even more live experiences. In 2018, the content partner of the MAPIC Leisure Zone will be TEA.


Contact Caroline Renou, Sales Manager Retail and Leisure

Tel +33 7 77 36 85 24. Email

Share this

Nathalie Depetro

Nathalie is Director of MAPIC, the international retail real estate market. She has a master’s in law from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis.

More from this author

Search for something

Related content

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update