Author: Bekki Ellis, 20 February 2018

With footfall and spend at a five-year low in January, FSP looks at how the leisure market is playing an increasingly important role in driving footfall and what this means for the future.

According to Knight Frank, out of every £5 spent, £1 is spent on leisure activities. In 2016, consumer spending on leisure grew 7.8% - a figure that is expected to grow by 4% each year to 2021. 

But for the sector to grow at its predicted pace, it must innovate. A good food & beverage offering is great, but what else can be done to attract new shoppers to the centre and keep the old ones returning?

  • The US craze of trampoline parks has been on the rise in the UK for some time now, with operators such as Flip Out expanding into shopping centres, attracting families and increasing footfall
  • Gala Bingo has decided to invest £40m in refurbishments and is opening its first new club in 9 years as consumers look for something different to do
  • Bowling may also be making a comeback with renewed popularity among families and friends as a good social activity. For example, Italian chef Gino D’Acampo is opening a 200-seat site in central London, which will include a Prosecco bar, deli, ice-cream bar, private dining, a games room and posh bowling lanes
  • Cinemas are always a good attraction; however, this is an area where innovation can be key and attract not just your regular cinema goer. McArthurGlen East Midlands, for example, is launching a drive-in cinema to make the ‘pop-up’ cinema concept work through the winter months
  • ‘Competitive socialising’ and e-sports are the newest leisure concepts taking the market by storm. Concepts such as Four Thieves (“remote controlled car racing scalextrics”), Virtual Reality gaming, high-tech indoor mini-golf operator Junkyard Golf, Bounce (ping pong), Crystal Maze, and Escape Rooms seem set to take the leisure sector to its next level

The demand for leisure is ever-increasing. Contact us to find out how to make leisure work for you.

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