In the past, going out shopping meant strolling down the aisles of a department store, feasting on quick meals at the food court and spending hours searching for the perfect item of clothing. Cue the onset of what is known as retailtainment. This frankenstein-esque word may look a little funny but it is used to describe the “concept of adding entertainment and experiences to the retail mix” and largely came about as many retailers, shopping centers and malls worked to find “new ways to remake themselves to attract the new customer.”  This change can be seen in retail spaces in the form of rock climbing or gyms at traditional malls and interactive arcade games or mini restaurants at movie theaters. Even furniture stores have taken part in this sort of retail refresh and incorporated unexpected adventure attractions for shoppers to enjoy while they browse.
Yes, you read that right. Furniture stores, like the East Coast giant Jordan’s Furniture, are mixing it up and adding in unconventional forms of entertainment into ordinary showrooms to keep visitors engaged and sticking around for longer periods of time. In fact, two particular Jordan’s Furniture facilities, the Reading, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut locations, are home to thrilling RCI attractions of their own and see endless smiles every day because of the additions.
Adventure attractions alongside sectionals & dining room tables?
Jordan’s Furniture may primarily sell sofas, mattresses and other home furnishings but President & CEO Eliot Tatelman wanted something different for his stores when the business began. That meant the integration of unique attractions such as a Sky Trail® to set his locations apart from the rest.
“We started 30 years ago realizing that entertainment and giving people fun and excitement was better than a sale” explains Tatelman.
The RCI attractions included in both locations definitely give people a thrill where they’d least expect it. Inside of the New Haven, Connecticut store there stands “It” which all in all consists of two 3.5 level Sky Trail® aerial attractions with 63 and 36 interactive elements respectively, 4 Sky Rails™, 2 QUICKjump free-fall exits and a Sky Tykes® attraction with 15 elements for smaller children to engage with. On the other hand, the facility in Reading, Massachusetts proudly features an attraction known as “Beanstalk” which is a 2 level Sky Trail® with 30 elements, Sky Rail™ and stand alone Sky Tykes® with 9 elements.
Also featured alongside the excitement of the Sky Trails® are opportunities for food such as the “Scoop It” ice cream shop and Blaze Pizza inside of the New Haven location.
What is the benefit of a retail location having attractions of this type?
There are many benefits that retail owners are able to witness because of their decision to add RCI adventure products into their space. A major benefit would be the increased dwell time of visitors. If individuals coming into the store have entertainment available to them in addition to products featured for sale, they are more likely to stay for longer and hang out with friends and family.
Guests sticking around then in turn leads to another benefit which is increased secondary spending on food and beverages. When participants are having a good time on the Sky Trail® or Sky Tykes®, they will want to keep the fun going so they will seek out food or beverages and gather with others to enjoy the entire experience. All ages are welcome which is ideal for families wanting a day out in which parents can get some shopping done and participate in an activity alongside their children for a memorable time all around. Stores like Jordan’s have seen the positive effects that come with the mixture of entertainment and retail and recommend it for others.
“It brings birthday parties, anniversary parties and it’s a wonderful thing for adults as well as kids” says Tatelman.
If you want to learn more about the success of the Jordan’s Furniture locations or would like to watch the testimonial by Eliot Tatelman himself, click on the buttons below!
 Retail-tainment; the next big thing for retail and shopping centers? (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://www.whitehutchinson.com/leisure/articles/retail-tainment.shtml.