DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT
The Retail and Entertainment industry has been going through a noticeable evolution over the last decade. From Melbourne to Madrid to Manhattan there is continual experimentation of newer models of developments, obfuscation and overlapping of several segments of the industry and births of new and exciting attitudes and trends. Retail and entertainment based developments have historically acted as catalysts and precursors for economic growth. As the world gets more urbanized and cities continue to be the experimental grounds for changing lifestyles, it is an appropriate juncture to step back, evaluate and prognosticate as to what these developments mean and portend. Trends generally tend to have different life spans, ranging from generations to short term fads. The retail and entertainment segments of the commercial development industry incorporate fairly long gestation periods prior to actual building. As such, trends tend to lag behind the social and technological changes that precipitate them. It is also equally possible, that the notions articulated below may no longer be valid or applicable a year from today, given the fast changing dynamics of new generations of shoppers.
Although the term Retail/Entertainment conjures up a singular entity, it is in fact an amalgam of several different components. They range from the much revered, imitated and maligned American model of the Shopping Mall to the Urban Entertainment Center, from Hypermarkets to upscale Department Stores and from themed environments to branding. The industry "mantra" today veers beyond just the physical environment and is succinctly articulated in the recent book "The Experience Economy" as "events that engage individuals in a personal and memorable way". Today, the sequence, ceremony and choreography of arrival and the mystery and anticipation of the journey to the destination are as important to consumers as choice, value and convenience. Similarly, service, scripting and synergism are being perceived of on par with merchandising and leasing strategies. "Story telling" has become a very important facet in the design and development of these facilities and the concepts of "bundling", "branding", "co-retailing", "precincting", "placemaking" and even trademarked