The long summer months when it’s too hot to do much outside and your children are not in camp have been a boon for retailers that offer “experiences” to keep their customers occupied.
“Entertainment and experiences are becoming increasingly important parts of the retail landscape,” according to data analytics firm Placer.ai. The company studied consumer behavior driving traffic to three companies where this combination is core.
Build-A-Bear offers customers the opportunity to build their own furry toys. Chuck E. Cheese combines pizza with animatronic shows and arcade games. Buff City Soap offers “delightfully scented plant based soaps, handmade daily, in each of our local Soap Makeries” that clients can make themselves. Each company is also set up for parties.
All three had higher customer visits for most months in 2023 than in 2022, especially in July this year – a trend Placer.ai said could be due to the heatwaves many parts of the country have suffered. Consumers’ more flexible summer schedules could also have played a part, since each chain had higher shares of weekday visits in May, June and July than in April, when schools were still in session.
“The data suggests that these brands should be prepared for increased weekday traffic during the summer and may consider gearing marketing efforts towards camps, parents, and other groups during the vacation,” the report said. “Location intelligence for heavy foot traffic times could encourage these retailers to optimize staffing and facilities management and inform decisions about which products or games may best resonate with consumers.”