A liquor store that sells cheese and nuts to pair your drinks, a restaurant where you can buy the paintings that are hanging on the walls and a hairdresser who pours a glass of wine while cutting your hair. "Shopping is becoming all about the experience for many people," says Dutch parliament member Erik Ziengs. He wants to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to respond to the changing wishes of the consumer, by combining various business formulas and thereby breathing new life into shopping streets, also known as blurring.
Delivering a greater customer experience
Blurring, or the mix of functions, is not new phenomena. For example, in the sports industry commercial operators have been looking for opportunities to add functions to the core business for many years. After all, an attractive leisure centre offers more than just a sport: it offers a full spectrum experience, consisting of various leisure, hospitality, social and sports services.
Solutions for decreasing number of visitors
To offer wider experience and attract more visitors, shopping areas and real estate owners position themselves in an innovative way. The retail and inner-city managers perceive the adapted hospitality concepts and added experience as a solution for decreasing numbers of visits to the shopping areas. Thus, the hospitality sector acts as a catalyst for the (re)development of shopping streets, areas and inner-cities. Therefore, we see that the importance of the hospitality sector is increasing.
Innovative concepts integration
The current issue is that the adaptation of new, mixed business models does not comply with the existing rules. In recent years, various pilot projects have been carried out to test blurring concepts, whereby entrepreneurs were not bound by the Licensing and Catering Act on an individual basis.