Anyone who has visited the retail park Ociopía, just outside the centre of Orihuela, will have noticed that more and more of the shops have closed. Mr Bricolage and the supermarket are two of the most noticeable closures.
In order to the revive the flagging fortunes of the commercial centre, they are opening a facility for dads which they are calling 'Aparca papá'. It is apparently meant to be somewhere for the men to go whilst their partners and children look around the shops. Open between 10am and 10pm, 'Aparca papá' will have TVs, newspapers and magazines available to keep the men amused. On the lower floor there is also a bouncy castle for the children which is open between 6 and 8pm during the week and 11am and 2pm and 5 to 9pm on Saturdays and fiesta days. For the future, the centre will be installing four trampolines for those who want to just jump around.
I understand the principle of attracting people in the hope that they will visit the place to shop. I do wonder though how long these new attractions will capture shoppers interests. Ultimately, you go to the mall to shop.
From what I have seen, the concept of this type of shopping experience does not seem to have caught on in Spain as much as it has in say America or Britain. It might be the hard times but I suspect that the Spanish are not into shopping malls in the same way as other nations.