Coming to a Retail Water Feature Near You

Posted in Insights -

With the ICSC RECon season upon us, retail owners and developers alike are focused on fresh new experiences to entertain guests and deepen their connection to retail destinations.

A great way to accomplish this is through live events and programming planned around retail water features. Because fountains are easily identifiable landmarks for guests, they often serve as the central gathering hub for a retail center.

By crafting engaging events around retail water features, property owners can attract shoppers and increase their length of their stay, giving guests a reason to spend more time – subsequently contributing to higher sales for tenants.

Below are a few examples of events and activities around water features that capture customers’ attention and encourage repeat visits to retail destinations.

Family Events

With women still responsible for up to a whopping $15 trillion in U.S. consumer spending annually, retail owners are increasingly introducing family-focused events that bring mothers and guests of all ages together for good clean fun.

By offering these free events at regular intervals such as weekly or monthly, families have a reason to return to the center repeatedly, and to purchase food, drinks, and consumer goods while they are there.

Retail water features can play an important role in these family events.

For example, at Station Park, a 62-acre mixed-use lifestyle center in Farmington, Utah, families are invited to gather each Monday in Fountain Square, where OTL designed and constructed a magical show fountain that features colored lights, music, movement and 30- to 60-foot high dancing waters.

Here, during “Family First Mondays,” guests enjoy games, activities, entertainment, and discounts – all within a fun monthly theme such as “Aladdin,” “Toy Story,” “Lion King,” “Superheroes,” “Princess Party,” and “Addams Family,” among others.

And, of course, families have a chance to dance and play near the stunning show fountain – a wonderfully entertaining activity the whole family can enjoy.

Exercise Classes

Retail and fitness are becoming a natural match as landlords seek more alternative, internet-resistant tenants for their destination centers.

By offering exercise classes in a retail environment, owners can attract fitness-focused guests and offer them a convenient opportunity to do some shopping before or after class.

The Veranda, a retail, dining, and entertainment destination in Concord, California, offers a free morning “Yoga in the Park” class once a month during the summer on the lawn in front of the area’s first luxury movie theater, for example.

Across from the theater sits a spectacular musical show fountain OTL designed and built, featuring changeable brilliant lighting and water displays.

The fountain is the perfect setting for a stress-relieving yoga class, enhancing the guest experience, and also offers a great place to relax after class with a drink or snack from nearby food and beverage vendors.

Happy Hours

Many retail owners are upping their food and beverage game by adding innovative restaurants and bars to their tenant roster.  Timing events around retail water features to coincide with Happy Hour offerings at these eateries can attract patrons and groups while also adding to guests’ enjoyment of the Happy Hour experience.

At The Collection at Riverpark, a shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in Oxnard, California, guests can enjoy Happy Hour at a variety of the center’s restaurants, many of which are located near three enchanting fountains OTL created for the center. The fountains’ captivating features, inspired by mermaids and the spirit of the sea, include fascinating lightning and playful sculptural elements, adding to the fun of Happy Hour while also increasing guests’ length of stay.

By hosting events in programmable spaces near fountains before, during, or after Happy Hour, retail owners can harness the power of their food and beverage tenants, while also engaging their guests with experiences.

Events such as musical performances, art exhibits, farmer’s markets, and singles meet-ups, among others, make Happy Hour even more memorable and give guests additional reasons to stay longer at a retail center.

As retail owners continue to seek out new ways to leverage retail water features and deepen their guests’ experience, destinations will increasingly integrate family activities, exercise classes, and Happy Hour festivities into their programs and offerings. By capitalizing on a fountain’s powerful ability to attract people, retail owners and developers will find that these events entice more visitors to their centers and encourage them to linger longer, resulting in ongoing engagement, happy patrons, and a healthy retail environment.