19 april 2019 in
Shopping Center

Importance of 'Experience' in retail.

“We want to offer our customers a total destination experience that goes well beyond traditional shopping”

Importance of 'Experience' in retail.

In 2007 Katrien Geysen started working for Ceusters. In August 2018 she was appointed as the shopping centre manager of Wijnegem Shopping, the largest shopping mall in the Benelux with 59,690 m² of floor capacity. Toon De Meester has been the shopping centre manager of Waasland Shopping Center since 2015. It is the eighth largest shopping mall in Belgium and the number 2 in Flanders.

Why has the “experience” become so important in retail?

KG: “Competition in the retail industry is fiercer than ever. Consumers have plenty of choices when it comes to where they spend their time and money. While retail is still in the middle of debunking the shopping habits of millennials, members of Generation Z have been rising steadily. This constant change in consumer behavior has forced the retail industry to test and innovate different ways to engage with consumers. Today it is all about retailtainment, winning your consumers by understanding their emotions. You need to provide customers with fun, unique experiences that elevate shopping above any traditional shopping. That’s why we want to offer a total destination experience beyond the range of 250 shops. Innovative malls like Wijnegem are incorporating value-added elements including personals shoppers, events, entertainment, trendy places to meet up with friends and family, smartphone chargers, kids & baby corners.... These services provide a level of leisure and entertainment that can never be satisfied online. Ultimately, the true testament of effective retailtainment is whether it can lead the way in pulling consumers away from online shopping and back into the physical stores. “

TDM: “Forbes recently reported that 72% of the younger generation chooses experiences over materialistic items as the happiness driver, and 69% believe that attending live experiences helps them connect better with their friends and their community. Shopping centres are the hub of the local community – a place to share quality time with friends and family, not just to shop. On top of that many people are looking for a special experience...


Click here to read the full article in our Trends Magazine.