Can Cirque du Soleil become an anchor tenant for malls?

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Shopping centres across Canada and the United States are no longer just spaces where consumers spend money at retail outlets. Cirque du Soleil apparently took notice.

 

Recently, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group announced it will be adding family entertainment centres to its portfolio of creative projects.

 

It said it has developed an innovative concept of indoor family entertainment experiences specially designed for retail locations. The recreational centres will offer a brand new immersive, creative and participative family experience, where people can stretch their imagination, flex their muscles, explore newfound circus skills, and take a bow on the virtual Cirque du Soleil stage, it said.

Our fans regularly express their wish to experience Cirque du Soleil from an insider’s perspective, to peek behind the curtain and imagine themselves stepping into our artists’ shoes. With CREACTIVE, we make that possible by inviting families to jump on stage, offering them another way to explore our creativity beyond our live shows.
Said Marie-Josée Lamy, Cirque du Soleil Producer of CREACTIVE.

The new indoor centres will be installed in premium immersive spaces covering about 24,000 square feet and will offer a range of acrobatic, artistic and other Cirque du Soleil-inspired recreational activities, such as bungee jumping, aerial parkour, wire and trampolines, mask design, juggling, circus track activities, dance and more.

 

It has partnered with Ivanhoé Cambridge to launch its first CREACTIVE indoor centre in the world set to open in September 2019 in the Greater Toronto Area.

 

“CREACTIVE is perfectly aligned with our vision for the future of retail: to join forces with the right partners to offer innovative experiences for the benefits of local families and communities,” said Claude Sirois, President, Retail at Ivanhoé Cambridge.

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Anchor Stores Are On Their Way Out

Michael Kehoe, an Alberta-based retail specialist with Fairfield Commercial Real Estate in Calgary, believes the concept of shoppertainment is here to stay.

 

“The malls have the space with the vacating anchor stores. It’s more pronounced in the U.S. with Macy’s and the different anchors that are folding. Not so much in Canada because anchor store space that becomes vacant here is recycled very quickly sometimes with non-mall uses,” said Kehoe, who is an Ambassador for the New York-based International Council of Shopping Centres.

 

“There’s lots of room for truly mixed-use projects. It attracts different customers to the mall. It increases dwell time. You’re going to stick around to eat.”

 

By Mario Toneguzzi