Shopping is all about the experience now, and Plymouth Meeting Mall is welcoming two tenants to deliver that.
5 Wits, named after the five senses, will open this fall offering a live-action experience by immersing guests in realistic challenges that require teamwork and wit to solve, the mall's owner, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, said Wednesday.
CYCLEBAR, an indoor cycling venue that offers a high-energy workout in a concert-like atmosphere, opens next Thursday.
The additions follow last month's debut of a 34,000-square-foot Legoland Discovery Center geared to families and children and underscore the mall owner's commitment to changing with consumers' habits, company CEO Joseph Coradino said.
Since 2012, PREIT has added more than 1 million square feet of dining, entertainment, health and wellness, fast fashion, and off-price tenants at its malls, an increase of more than 70 percent of space committed to tenants that don't fit the traditional apparel mold, Coradino said in a statement.
"The historic view of the mall, heavily reliant on apparel and traditional retail, has expired, and a new model is rising," Coradino said. "Dining, entertainment, and experiential concepts represent the mall of the future."
5 Wits is a new-to-region and first-to-portfolio tenant for PREIT. The 14,000-square-foot venue will be located across from Legoland. CYCLEBAR will occupy more than 2,700 square feet of space with a state-of-the-art studio for classes.
"Plymouth Meeting Mall is a very good fit for 5 Wits," said John Pandiscio, director of marketing and advertising for the 5 Wits Cos. "We like the diverse tenant mix and large suburban population base. The level of physical immersion and realism make 5 Wits unique in the area."
Retail experts say the entertainment trend is rising as struggling malls try to stem the loss of foot traffic to the internet and as the closure of stores has increased the need for replacements with broader appeal.
"Services are growing at the mall and goods retailers are less important for future growth," noted Michael Niemara of the Retail Economist LLC. "Entertainment, restaurants, gyms, and other personal services are growing in popularity, and services are more immune from the internet. The mall is evolving with the consumer."
Coradino said last month that 17 percent of space at PREIT malls was dedicated to dining and entertainment, but that the proportion at Plymouth Meeting was greater than 45 percent.