For commercial indoor playground as it is for any other sorts of business, you cannot emphasize enough the importance of location. Finding a good location, you will be half way to success (the other halfway to success is of course having a good turn-key supplier like us : )
The following ideas and advices are based on our over 10 years of experience in working with indoor playground owners around the world, but because no two businesses are the same, and the market environment is different in each country, you should use these advices as general principles, and make judgment based on your own market research.
Indoor playgrounds may operate in a few different types of location, let’s go through each of them:
1. In a shopping center or shopping mall:
it is probably the location over half of the successful indoor playgrounds have chosen, in particular the playgrounds in the big cities. The reason is simple, shopping centers usually provide higher traffic flow than any other types of location, it is particularly true for developing countries where shopping centers are in scarce and attract more customers. Combined with other advantages like innovative play equipments and nice theme, a high-traffic location will help you take the market by storm.
In addition to high traffic flow, indoor playgrounds in shopping center may also have other benefits, such as:
- High exposure to the public;
- Shopping centers launch coordinated advertising and promotion campaign, which usually creates a much larger effect than individual business;
The biggest downside of locating in a shopping center is that the rent cost is usually the highest.
2. Shopping area or street:
As opposed to a big concentrated shopping mall, indoor playgrounds can also operate in an individual site in the shopping area of a town or district.
The rent in these areas is usually cheaper than the rent in shopping mall, yet they usually still have a good traffic flow.
For indoor playgrounds located on a shopping street, choose your neighbor wisely is important, again, location near other children related service and business is always good, it’s also good to be near children’s favorite restaurants such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut, or to be near a high traffic business that families visit often like Walmart.
3. Within or near a community:
Indoor playground can also be located at the shopping area or activity center of a community, in this case the main customer base it serves will be the children that live in this community and the nearby communities.
Such indoor playgrounds are usually smaller in size and thus require less investment, and the rent is also much lower. Although the customer base is not comparable with the play centers in shopping mall, because you are closer to your customers, they may visit your play center more often which can lead to a good business too.
The optimal location for a community indoor play center is near convenient and high-traffic places like the local grocery store, swimming pool, a popular gym, or near the local kinder garden and pre-school.
Because your customers will be the children from the local communities, having a reputation of owning high quality play equipments, and providing good service will be ultimately important.
4. Park and town square:
Some businesses choose to locate their indoor playground or Family Entertainment Center in a park or town square, where the local residents visit for leisure.
Because the park managers welcome family friendly entertainments like this, you may rent a big space in a park for relatively low rent. Also, as families have come to the park for play already, it is easy to get the parents pay for the kids to play in your indoor play center.
Because the area is usually not as constrained as the other types of location, you will have more options when planning your playcenter, for example, a 500 sqm dedicated ball blaster arena may be too luxurious for an indoor play center operating in a shopping center, but in a park with vast open area it is not an issue at all.
5. Resort and tourism destinations:
Certain resorts and tourist destinations can also be good location for starting an indoor play center, but keep in mind that you should complement and cooperate with the main attractions, other than try to compete with them.
The key to set up a successful indoor playground in such location is to discover the market need that is not met and meet it. For example, the resort may have offered a lot of entertainments for adults and school-age children, but not much entertainment suitable for toddlers, then to set up a toddler play center that features cute soft play, interactive soft play, and play panels may be a great idea.
Novelty play activity like fun ball blaster playground also works great in resorts and tourism places, vacationing people love to experience something new and exciting.
Selecting a good location is an important step in starting an indoor playground business, it’s worth spending time on it. However just like anything in life, there is not a “perfect” business location, once you see a location that fits your objectives and budget, you should make the decision quickly and take it before it’s taken by others.