Jan 24, 2020
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Intu pop-up uses colour to boost shoppers' moods and dwell time

Jan 24, 2020

Shopping malls giant Intu is under heavy pressure as it works to improve its debt situation and another area in which it’s under pressure, footfall, is also a focus for the owner of some of the UK’s top shopping centres.


It announced one solution to this on Friday with news that it has created three walk-in ‘light houses’ to boost footfall, dwell time and brighten the moods of its 35 million visitors “using the psychological benefits of colour”.

Actions such as this are important these days as footfall drops across the country and consumers increasingly get their ‘retail therapy’ fix online. 

Its Happy, Calm and Energise houses will tour its shopping destinations during this year “featuring colour combinations proven to help people feel happier, more relaxed and more energised”.

It has enlisted ‘light artist’ Liz West and colour psychologist June McLeod who’ve been working with the company for the last three months to turn conceptual colour designs into the free pop-up experiences. They’re using “the vivid colours of the rainbow to evoke positive thoughts, a soft blue-lit, cocooned space to foster calmness and a mirrored, neon-orange charged room to provide an energy boost”.

It’s an interesting concept from the property giant that has in recent years been one of the most pro-active landlords as far as its use of customer experience features and technology to attract more visitor traffic have been concerned.

The company’s customer experience director Roger Binks said the aim is to create places “where people love to be and that will make them smile. This is part of the ongoing transformation of our centres into successful destinations where all our customers can flourish”. And of course, extra footfall and happy customers should hopefully translate into people who want to spend more in the centres’ stores.

The experience opened at Lakeside in Essex on Friday and will visit 11 more Intu shopping destinations during the next nine months. Its visitors can use the hashtag #ColourMyMood to share pictures and track its progress across the UK.  

Artist Liz West said the cylinder shape of the Calm House is designed to create “a feeling of being cocooned in a soft seamless space”; the Energise House uses infinity mirrors to surround visitors with “warm, energy-provoking colour”; and the Happy House mixes vivid colours and luminous light to “create a spectral environment known to increase positive thoughts”.

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