Creative Opportunities in the Retail Space session: 3rd Feb, A&BNI: Arts & Business NI (

Over the last year, A&BNI Business Team have worked tirelessly to identify the potential for collaborative impact between arts organisations and retail centres. During this time they have successfully matched and supported a number of projects that give the arts a platform in these spaces, while meeting the strategic goals of both the arts organisations and the retail businesses, with some fantastic results.

Their work has also included a Creative Placemaking Showcase in November 2021 at Forestside Shopping Centre, bringing together representatives from prominent Northern Ireland retail organisations to hear from a range of speakers and performers, each championing the importance of creative placemaking as a tool to engage customers and staff for business success.

The overarching objective for their retail members is to create unique, memorable shopping experiences for their shoppers, to compete with online shopping.

Breaking this down further, from discussion with their retail members, common goals include:

  • Animation of shopping malls
  • Engaging existing customers through creative solutions
  • Attracting new customers/driving footfall with creative projects
  • Utilising empty retail space in new and innovative ways
  • Supporting their local arts sector
  • Engaging local communities to affect social impact