CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) is moving beyond look and feel to focus on fresh ways consumers can connect at its shopping centers. This new in-person socialization strategy has proven successful with the multimillion-dollar renovation of its Chicago-area property, Yorktown Center.

“Consumer research shows a large increase in shoppers’ (especially Millennial’s) desire to connect and socialize while shopping, as opposed to running in to purchase items and quickly leaving the mall,” said Steve Plenge, managing principal, Pacific Retail Capital Partners. “While shoppers still research and compare prices online, many make purchases and returns in person and want to create social events with friends or family surrounding these in-store transactions.”

To captivate Yorktown Center’s affluent, family-centered consumer base, PRCP focused on a new PLAY concept – the first of its kind in the Chicago area. PLAY incorporates iPad technology for older children, sensory toddler zone, artistic play structures and plenty of opportunities to run, crawl and imagine for kids of all ages.

“Our PLAY zone provides sensory learning, technology and fosters creative play for families needing a change of pace between retail or restaurant visits,” said Todd Hiepler, Yorktown Center General Manager. “We’ve already received positive feedback from shoppers delighted with an experience that engages teens as well as toddlers and adds to their overall shopping experience.”

Yorktown Center is surrounded by 900,000+ residents with an average household income of nearly $100,000. More than 10 million shoppers visit the shopping center annually. After analyzing consumers’ needs, PRCP invested in the new socializing trend as part of the property’s strategic renovation.

“A great example of the socialization trend was apparent with back-to-school shopping,” explains Gary Karl, executive vice president, Pacific Retail Capital Partners. “Previously, parents tried to quickly cross this off their to-do list. Conversely, today’s consumers are creating back-to-school memories through leisurely shopping excursions involving the entire family, modeling outfits and enjoying dinner together afterwards.”

“We concentrate on catering to this new mindset and helping customers celebrate their everyday shopping experiences,” he added.