LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLAND - The Beginning - New Plymouth, New Zealand
The idea grew from Alan & Rose Grant observing children (including their own) who were visiting fast food restaurants for the playground rather than the food. Research in the early 1990s in the USA and UK showed a growing market in indoor 'pay for play' and while the first playlands had been opened in areas of either very cold or very hot weather, they are now being established in all locations.
In early 1993 Alan & Rose felt that there was an opportunity to introduce the concept of 'Pay for Play' into New Zealand based on their research, which included Alan visiting 30+ playlands in the USA and Canada. The decision was made to proceed in May 1993, and the first LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLAND opened in New Plymouth, New Zealand in 650 sq m on the second floor above a new four Cinema multiplex on 10 November 1993.
After an initial trial and proving period it was decided to expand LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLANDs around New Zealand through franchising. Twelve target areas were identified and the New Zealand Franchise Programme was launched in July 1994.
The first Franchised LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLAND opened in March 1995 and eight franchised LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLANDs are now open in New Zealand including two in Auckland and others in Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch.
Research in Australia in May 1996 confirmed that LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLANDs were more professional, multifaceted and financially successful than anything open in Australia at that time, so expansion into that market started with the first site opening in Brisbane in December 1997. Because of the success of that first trial site, the expansion of LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLANDs through Australia has gathered momentum.
Since then 9 more Lollipop's have opened and four more are now in development, and over 6 million children have played in a LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLAND in Australia and New Zealand.
As our success unfolds, we plan to expand into all major Australian cities over the next few years. Early trading experience in New Zealand has confirmed the need to have a large (100,000+) population in the area surrounding a LOLLIPOP'S PLAYLAND site. For Australia we have increased that to 200,000, so development in the Australian market will be concentrated in the larger cities.