Retail + Entertainment = More Customers


Retailtainment — have you heard of the word? 

It’s a growing trend in retail where businesses incorporate entertainment to try to draw in more customers and can make a big difference as more people shop online.

With five children, Lacy Spicer is always looking for indoor places for her kids to burn off energy. That brings her to the Sanford Children’s Play Area at The Empire Mall.

“If they didn’t have the play area, we wouldn’t come,” Spicer said.

In addition to the indoor park, the mall is also looking for other retailtainment options. That includes a collaboration with Disney Junior to host Disney Junior Play Dates.

“It’s all about an experience. That’s one thing you can’t get buying online,” Empire Mall Manager Dan Gies said.

Some of the stores are also adding their own forms of entertainment. For example, Lululemon hosts free yoga classes, and you can expect more retailtainment at the mall in the future.

“We look at Sears closures as opportunities. What can you do? How can you redevelop it into a multi-use space,” Gies said.

There are also businesses in downtown Sioux Falls that incorporate retailtainment. For example, at Simply Perfect you can learn how to build a flower arrangement.

“We want to differentiate ourselves, and make sure we have that hands-on experience,” Simply Perfect Marketing Coordinator Christin Majerus said.

At nearby Plum’s Cooking Company you can take part in three cooking classes a week.

“During the winter months, it’s huge for us to create something that draws people in. Create an experience to enjoy to get out of the house because the winter months are hard for everybody,” Majerus said.

Back at The Empire Mall, Spicer says she came here for the free entertainment. 

“However, we usually have to get a snack and check out the sales,” Spicer said.

That is retailtainment. 

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