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Intu pilots virtual reality in its shopping centres

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Shopping centre owner Intu is piloting paid-for virtual reality experiences at three of its most popular retail and leisure destinations over August, where customers can interact with characters from The Emoji Movie.

The pilot will take place in Merry Hill, Lakeside and Braehead, before Intu makes the decision on whether to roll out more virtual reality experiences to its 35 million customers nationwide, and will measure shoppers’ propensity to pay for virtual reality leisure experiences and the popularity of movie-related virtual reality content.

The virtual reality experience will cost 5 pounds and will allow consumers to interact with characters and worlds from the Emoji Movie, including exclusive content to the UK featuring specially recorded lines from the movie’s lead actors including James Corden.

Karen Harris, managing director of Intu’s digital innovation team said: “We are running a number of trials to look at the benefits of virtual reality and augmented reality in a modern shopping centre environment.

“We think there is enormous potential for these types of leisure experiences to drive up footfall, dwell time and likelihood of revisiting a shopping destination. Data from this trial will be used to understand how we can continue to take this technology forward.”

Intu ran its first complimentary virtual reality leisure pilot at Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham over December where customers were invited to step into a virtual winter wonderland and decorate a Christmas tree. In addition, augmented reality was added to Intu’s in-centre app over Easter to bring to life a number of Nick Jr. characters over the school holidays.

Intu Group
Virtual Reality