Escape game, bowling, laser game, minigolf… these shopping centers that reopens without shops

Shopping centers, loss of speed, are looking for a new life based on catering and entertainment. In Paris, Vill’up will reopen in 2023 without shops under the name of Boom Boom Villette. Same for sqy west, in the yvelines.


Do not come to the Vill’Up shopping center in the Porte de la Villette, in the 19 e arrondissement of Paris, to make the windows. You will not find any shops, even if a large purple and black display on its storefront still promises “restaurants, cinema, attractions and shopping”. Renowned for its free fall simulator, this place which opened in 2016 in the fourth span of the Cité des Sciences will not be called soon more vill’up, but Boom Boom Villette.

Maurice Bansay, founder and CEO of La Foncière Famille Apsys, the operator behind the shopping center, but also from Beaugrenelle to Paris and Muse in Metz, admits to having “completely deceived, for the first time in twenty-six years “. He therefore changes the concept by removing all shops, to devote it solely to leisure and catering.

The surrounding ecosystem based on leisure with the Cité des Sciences, the too small size of the center – “10,000 square meters of shops, but it would have taken the double” – and “the displacement of drug addicts of drug addicts Stalingrad at La Villette “were right for attendance, fell to 2.5 million visitors per year. “Insufficient to operate this 25,000 square meter shopping center,” explains Mr. Bansay.

minigolf indoor, bowling, trampoline…

There will therefore be zero trade. “We must be radical in our positioning,” continues the business manager. Instead, the operator promises, from the summer of 2023, 21,000 square meters of leisure with Minigolf Indoor, Bowling, Trampoline, Laser Game, Arcade Games, and the biggest escape game in France, which will plunge Players in the heart of Gotham City, the city of Batman’s adventures. Cinema and free fall tube will be the only survivors of the old center.

The new set will accommodate 4,000 square meters of catering spaces, and an event program provided by Live Nation, the American festivals. What attract 4 million visitors per year, according to designers, and thus reach balance. “We had invested more than 100 million euros in the first operation, with our partner Sogecap, the Société Générale’s life insurance subsidiary. There, we put around forty million euros, half of which are made by tenants, who do the work, “explains Mr. Bansay.

With the increase in online purchases and the fall in clothing sales, the number of shops has decreased over the years in shopping centers, for the benefit of catering and entertainment spaces. “Fitness clubs, laser game, escape game, immersive concepts, climbing walls and other karting tracks occupy an increasing place in projects inaugurated since the health crisis,” notes Antoine Salmon, director of the rental trade department at Knight Frank France, in a market study published on September 19.

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/Media reports.