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The Rec Room Announces Canadian Shopping Centre Expansion

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Cineplex-owned “eats & entertainment destination” The Rec Room has announced two more Canadian shopping centre locations, addressing the trend of providing added attractions to retail centres. The Rec Room opened its very first location at Edmonton’s South Edmonton Common in the fall of 2016. 

In its most recent announcement, Cineplex confirms that The Rec Room will open a 50,000 square foot space at West Edmonton Mall in the summer of 2017, with construction ongoing. It will become another destination for the already entertainment-focused shopping centre. “On behalf of all of us at West Edmonton Mall, I would like to extend a warm welcome to The Rec Room,” said David Ghermezian, CEO, West Edmonton Mall. “With so much to offer both our local guests and tourists, The Rec Room will be right at home at the most comprehensive retail, hospitality and entertainment complex in the world. It’s another great reason for people to shop, play and stay at West Edmonton Mall.”

In 2018, The Rec Room will open a 36,000 square foot space at London’s CF Masonville Place, which will be part of Cadillac Fairview‘s multimillion dollar expansion and redevelopment project for the shopping centre — which also recently debuted an impressive expansion and renovation that saw the addition of several popular retailers. CF Masonville is one of Canada’s most productive shopping centres, with annual sales per square foot approaching $1,000. 

Rendering: The Rec Room

Canada’s top shopping centres are now in the ‘entertainment industry’, adding non-retail amenities to attract and keep shoppers on site. It’s a trend discussed in a new Retail Council of Canada shopping centre study which has just been released, and will be a topic of further discussion here on Retail Insider this month as we delve further in the shopping centre industry. 

Both the Edmonton and London Rec Room locations will include the following: 

  • Wood-fired, Canadian-inspired cuisine in a casual dining restaurant as well as ‘eatertainment-style’ dining in the games area,
  • A bar area where sports fans can grab a drink and catch the game on huge HD screens,
  • A large attractions area where guests can play over 100 amusement games. Credits earned are tracked on RFID wristbands and can be redeemed at a redemption store for a variety of prizes
  • Classic favourites like air hockey, pool and ping pong as well as large feature attractions,
  • A performance space that’s ideal for hosting live entertainment such as musical and comedy acts, and 
  • Multiple private dining rooms appropriate for celebrations, corporate events and parties

Last year, Cineplex also announced future The Rec Room locations for Toronto’s Roundhouse and at Calgary’s Deerfoot City. The Rec Room is an entertainment centre concept that brings together multiple dining environments, amusement gaming, technology (featuring state-of-the-art simulation) and live entertainment experiences in an auditorium-style space, all under one roof. Cineplex plans to open between 10-15 new locations of The Rec Room over the coming years, each ranging in size from 30,000 to 60,000 square feet and customized to the individual community. The massive, often two-storey entertainment complexes will see half of the space being devoted to dining and live entertainment and the other half being devoted to amusement games and feature attractions. 

*Images supplied by Cineplex.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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