Ahoy, Matey

23rd October 2017

Charter Hall’s Secret Harbour Square.

Just recently opened to the public, is our latest installation at Secret Harbour, an outdoor, Pirate themed playground.

Sail the seven seas on our three part ship climber, equipped with fireman poles, slides and climbing nets, guaranteed to excite your imagination.




Garden Fun

3rd October 2017

We were honoured to work with 151 Property again on the Garden Playground upgrade at Waverley Gardens, our second install with the centre this year.

The green grassed area is now home to our ‘Nook’ Play>House and complimented with garden themed soft play to accommodate for toddlers.

Waverley’s Nook, which is now becoming a must have addition in our upcoming projects, includes climbing and pommel features along with a stunning timber and steel slide.

Not only have we created a place for children to play actively, but we have also created a striking and inviting space that caters to parents as well, with our banquette bench seating and pram parking.




Play time has never been so good.

23rd August 2017

 Welcome to the new kids zone at Top Ryde City Shopping Centre by Play On!

Boasting three separate zones that combine a mixture of passive, active and interactive play, suitable for children 0-12 years. The Piece de resistance is our custom built Play House, aptly coined the play gym, it features a rock climbing wall, rope climber, multiple slides, a tunnel and swivel pommels. To complement the climbing zone, there is the soft play area with two climbing mounds and blue blocks for hours of building fun. Lastly, enjoy some time out in the reading zone with a good book in a beanbag or some digital gameplay on the interactive U Create screens by NunoErin.



Park, Charge and Play

4th August 2017

Once again, our Play On! team have delivered an exceptional new play addition to QIC’s Eastland Shopping Centre, proving once again that they are the experts in play.

The Innovative focal points of the area are our very own designed Play Houses, adding play value at every turn.
Along with the two Play Houses you will find climbable boxes, activity tables and play blocks that allow for multiple patterns of play, igniting imaginations and inspiring thoughtful, active fun.
The space also boasts the much sought after pram parking bays, and charging station for parents.

Play On! and QIC have worked in partnership to create a space that not only delivers on fun and adds value to families shopping in the centre, but a space that flows seamlessly with the centre’s aesthetic. The minimalist, Scandi themed play space, places play functionality at the forefront without sacrificing on style.


Importance of family entertainment for shopping centre growth

5th June 2017

In an increasingly more is more world, shopping centre groups are realising the necessity in developing centres that provide more than just a shopping experience. We see developers and centre owners continue to innovate, reinventing the shopping centre format. Centres are now positioned as the ‘town centre’ of a community, offering experiences that are an extension of their customer’s life- this is key in creating loyalty with shoppers.

We are progressively seeing more sophisticated children’s play areas, new and unique pop-up shops and food courts transformed into dining precincts that include both food and entertainment offerings.

In particular, shopping centres have realised the importance of incorporating children’s play, placing them in key locations- close to a food and beverage offering, within the children’s precinct or in a slower area of the centre to help activate the space. These play areas are no longer an afterthought, but fast becoming central in redevelopments and design.

Centre groups understand that play facilities are a key driver and drawcard for families, carers and mother’s groups. Centres that properly execute play benefit from increased foot traffic, retailer spend and enhance the shopping centre perception.

At Play On! we are consistently pushing the boundaries, creating fun and innovative play areas that feature unique fabrications across climbing, digital and structural elements that keep children playing longer, ensuring a new and engaging experience every visit.

Play On! have recently collaborated with Starburst Insights to conduct market research across centres in Australia on the impact play facilities have on families and the retail and shopping centre environment.

Improved Customer Experience

A few key statistics show that 77% of shoppers state that children’s play facilities influence their decision where to shop while a significant 90% of shoppers agreed that having facilities to entertain children while at shopping centres is important to them.

The research reveals that over 60% of shoppers agreed that centres with play facilities show they are child friendly and family focused and that they cater to their shoppers and understand their needs and the market.

By providing a play area the centre is working to improve the customer experience, but what we also found was that the majority of our respondents were staying longer and making auxiliary purchases at surrounding retailers.

The research showed than more than 60% of shoppers visit the centre at least once a week and 55% use the play facilities every time. While in the play area 82% of those shoppers make additional purchases, for example coffee, drinks and food.

The most astounding find was that respondents were willing to drive an hour past their local centre in order to shop at a centre with children’s play facilities.

By providing a play facility in a shopping centre you are creating an important space for the family consumer, where the benefits of integrating play into their shopping trip means they can get more done- a once negative experience is now a positive for all.

Increased Dwell Time

Creating positive experiences increases dwell time; encouraging families to stay longer. It’s a great way for both children and parents to take a break and recharge before continuing on their shopping journey. By entertaining the kids and providing a safe environment for them to burn off energy, families are less likely to seek the exit and continue shopping for longer.

The position of the play area in the centre is also important to improve dwell time. Closely monitoring foot traffic patterns in the centre can help to determine the most fertile area for the play facility. For example, play areas that are integrated throughout the centre provide numerous occasions for families to stop and engage before they continue shopping.

Increased sales

The location of the play area can help to boost sales of the surrounding retailers, which is why they are often located next to children’s shops and food and beverage retailers.
Having the children’s play facility next to a cafe provides the perfect spot for parents to sit and relax with a cup of coffee or snack whilst watching their children socialise, release energy and have fun.

Higher foot traffic

Families often use the promise of visiting the play area as motivation to visit the centre more frequently, and allowing them to spend longer time running errands with children.

As the play areas are safe and secure it gives families peace of mind to allow their children to play. It’s also an inexpensive option to entertain the children, no matter the weather. This means parents will choose to visit the centre more often, over other entertainment options.

There have been a lot of changes in the retail space over the past decade, with the most significant shift being the rapid growth of online shopping. In order to compete in this ever-expanding digital world, shopping centres have to address the need to ensure customer experiences are engaging and valuable for the whole family. Providing play areas can transform a centre from just a place to go shopping, to a must-visit destination. Happy families mean happy shoppers which benefits retailers through increased dwell time, increased sales and growth and overall enhances the shopping centre perception.

Article appeared in Shopping Centre News VOL 35, Number 2 2017

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