No mall today can afford to stand tall with just a bouquet of retail brands and a handful of dining options. Entertainment has become an integral part of malls along with shopping and food. Entertainment centres, entertainment and destination venues, once of little significance to shopping centres and malls, are now growing in importance as an essential part of the mix in order to attract today’s consumer.
Cashing in on the ever-expanding opportunity, Timezone–a leading family entertainment centre known for its high octane interactive arcade games for families and kids – entered India in 2004 to off er world-class family entertainment options. And since then there has been no looking back.
“Timezone has been in business for more than 40 years. If you look at our history, we were into manufacturing of games. Following this business, we realised that we can convert this expertise into an experience.
We started from Australia, which is home to our promoters. Then a couple of decades later, we expanded to Asia Pacifi c markets and later to Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and then to India in 2004. In 2017, we expanded operations to Vietnam,” says Sonaal Chopra, Group CEO, Timezone.
“Currently, we operate in 6 other countries with over 200 venues. Our venues all over the world deliver the exact same unparalleled experience via a modern quality offering,” he adds. The brand believes in providing a superior guest experience by diff erentiating across various customer touch points, examples of which are latest and exclusive games and VR concepts, modern ambience in line with latest retail and hospitality trends globally, a unique prize shop experience, high value proposition from the money spent and an unmatched guest focus.
Last year, the brand was revamped and re-launched as NextGen Timezone. It has elements which focuses on young adults along with kids and families.
Highlighting the major differences, Chopra says, “The difference is reflected in the store layout and designs. From a playful and colourful store background, Timezone has moved to more urbane and futuristic design and colour palette. Lit signages for major concept zones and unique sky grid lighting in the store enhances the entire layout and elevates the whole experience of an indoor entertainment and concept play zone.”
“NextGen Timezone focuses on delivering high quality experiences that are second to none globally, right from a contemporary ambience, to latest games, attractions, a unique prize redemption shop and other interesting concepts,” he adds.
Technological Innovations: The Way Forward
The brand has some great initiatives in the pipeline to better study and understand customer behaviour.
“We will soon be launching an evolved CRM initiative which will help us achieve realtime, targeted and customised engagement with our customers, which we believe will create immense value. We are also using technology to help minimise queues during busy periods to further enhance consumer experience,”Chopra explains.
Tapping the North Indian Market
Timezone has recently entered the North Indian market by opening its first venue at Logix City Centre Mall, Noida. In line with the new positioning, NextGen Timezone, this 9,000 sq.ft entertainment destination guarantees an enthralling time with friends and family where customers can run out of time, but not games. “North is a huge market and we were planning to tap this sector for long and right from our first venue we shall provide an experience to our guests which is second to none. Our endeavour is to entertain everyone – kids, families, corporates – and to create an enriching, memorable experience,” he says.
Apart from this, Timezone has just launched a new brand called Timezone Play & Learn in Bengaluru, which primarily targets kids between the age group of 2-6 years.
The brand, which has an average store size of 1,300 sq.mt, is growing by over 30 venues per annum organically. It is also looking at acquisition opportunities to scale up the network of venues
“On an average we invest over US $2000 per square meter per venue. Our forward pipeline of new venues is aggressive and over the next 12 months we are committed to opening at over 13 new locations,” reveals Chopra.
The brand leases its locations within the malls at agreed rental terms and is currently experiencing year-on-year growth of over 40 percent.