Once these considerations have been embedded in the design it is important that free movement is encouraged so that customers avoid ‘dead ends’ and enjoy a layering of choreographed experiences and activities. This builds a richness, with repeat visits revealing new and previously unseen aspects.
While retail might be the initial attraction to a location, it should not stop there. The development of “retail resorts” take this concept of “more than retail” to its conclusion. These sites have more in common with masterplans for mixed-use developments due to their scale and ambition. They combine retail with a range of uses so that people can fulfill all their leisure needs in one place. They are the complete expression of the new reality that entertainment is the new retail. We are enticed by the exciting and new and yet rooted in the need for authenticity and the real.
Examples include the integration of exhibition and event venues, aquariums, theme parks, cinema, dining and a mixture of retail formats including markets, boutique and big box, on one site.
At this scale, the possibilities for developers expand exponentially in cementing that special place within the collective consciousness of their target audience and delivering something that will have customers coming back and telling their friends and family about it.