North: Shopping centers are increasingly giving pride of place to children

North: Shopping centers are increasingly giving pride of place to children

The child, king of shopping centers? In December, a space for entertainment and leisure is to open for the youngest within the Promenade de Flandre shopping center, in Tourcoing, in the North. The Indoor Park Entertainment company will take advantage of Saint-Nicolas to launch its Tfou Parc, on the same model as the first one which opened in Evry 2, in Île-de-France, in September 2021.

Two years ago, it was the Lillenium shopping center, in Lille-Sud, which had already imagined a youth space with the Cité des Enfants – Smallicieux. Are we facing a new trend? “It’s a new approach that is being put in place, believes François Pain, CEO of Indoor Park Entertainment. It tends to transform shopping centers into places to live, with restaurants and above all leisure experiences to experience. You have to attract new customers. »

For more than twenty years in Asia and America

According to him, relaxation areas, especially for children, will be integrated more and more into the retail business which was the raison d’être of these temples of consumption. In Tourcoing, the new gaming site will extend over 3,600 m² within the brand new leisure center of the shopping center. “This trend has existed for more than twenty years in Asia and America”, continues François Pain who sees in it “a societal movement which will modify the land and the architecture of these shopping malls”.

The CEO thus ensures that he is already negotiating with three or four other sites to install his new generation game park.

Preferred target

Admittedly, children have always been a privileged target and the attractions reserved for them have always existed within these large surfaces, but not in a permanent and as vast way. The V2 center in Villeneuve d’Ascq, for example, does not have a dedicated place even though it has always set up activities for children in its shopping mall.

“It seemed logical to us insofar as the clientele is family”, explains the management of V2. This summer, for example, an aquatic pool has been installed so that children can go motor boating, just like in Lillenium, by the way.

“Considered as an educational museum”

But this Lillenium shopping center had already gone a little further than this kind of playground, when it was designed. As soon as it was inaugurated, a small City of Sciences was built there, two years ago, on 1,200 m2. A first in France, with a totally different concept from the future Tfou of Promenade de Flandre.

“We are not considered as an amusement park, but as an educational museum, with educational games”, underlines its director Grégory Chouchane. An essential nuance because the Cité des Enfants – Smallicieux “attracts a different clientele from that which regularly frequents the hypermarket”, he specifies. As long as the children find their account.

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