COMMENTARIES OF PLACEMAKING EXPERTS

The prospect of getting a slice of UK retail is not without its risks, regardless of whether the bottom of the market has been hit in terms of shopping center investment. For many first-time buyers in this asset class, the time to focus on getting the basics right has come.

Retail real estate is facing tough times as we close in on the prospect of a long, cold winter. Amidst the impending energy and economic crisis and an escalating threat resulting from a war in Europe, for many, the fear is here. Investor insecurity is high, and property owners are wary of fuel and finances running into scarce supply. However, as we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, where there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity.

As Festival Place is due to turn 20 later this year, now seems to be an opportune moment to reflect upon what defines it as a shopping center, a leisure destination, and a community amenity. Neil Churchill, Center Director of Festival Place, one of the UK’s Top 22 shopping centers, shares his view on the importance of community investment.

PROJECTS, TRENDS AND STRATEGIES

Brands have long understood the importance of presenting their sustainability credentials to consumers. Along with other policies, such as those relating to bullying in the workplace and mental health, sustainability plays an important part in a brand’s identity, and rightly so.

Despite all challenges, a lot is happening in the retail real estate industry and great projects are in the making. This is best illustrated by the entries for the MAPIC Awards 2022 category “Best performing Shopping Center”. They include assets such as shopping centers, outlets, and retail parks. They show innovation through new technologies, customer loyalty programs, retail mixes and architectural features which come together for the aim of increasing footfall, customer satisfaction, average spending and offering a unique experience in a new shopping destination. All these outstanding projects demonstrate the strength, innovation, and positivity of our industry.

Ukrainian Council of Shopping Places, a member of the European Council of Shopping Places (ECSP), has published a report providing insights on how retail destinations are adapting to the war and the impact it is having on the market. This report, which is exclusive to ACROSS, calculates losses and damages suffered by the shopping centre industry, retail turnover losses and shows reopening plans for some shopping centres.

LATEST TRENDS IN ASSET AND CENTER MANAGEMENT

Better Spaces, Better Communities, and Better Together – those are the pillars upon which Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s sustainability strategy is based. URW is committed to playing a key role in the environmental and energy transition. As such, the company has been implementing its “Better Places 2030” sustainability strategy since 2016.

“The world keeps on turning, but marketing strategies have been the same for decades,” is the verdict of Bernhard Klein, Chief Marketing Executive of IMMOFINANZ, on traditional marketing efforts in the retail asset class. In his guest contribution, he outlines various opportunities and improvements with the help of software-based automation of sales and marketing processes.

STRATEGIES OF RETAILERS

Congratulations to all MAPIC Awards winners, who were honoured for their excellence, innovation, and creativity in the retail real estate sector.

The role of shopping center events has changed: So-called “community events” have become increasingly common. They often replace traditional event formats that have dominated the center event scene for many years. André Stromeyer, Managing Director at HBB, and Anita Stampfl, Special Projects Manager at HBB discuss why the situation is the way it is, where the advantages and challenges lie, and why this fact does not make center marketing any easier.

Why should customers visit stores in which they know exactly what to expect? In order to captivate their guests, stationary stores need a network of creative ideas, event plans, a talent for creating narratives, and a considerable amount of boldness. Therefore, some old dogmas have to be thrown overboard.

RETAIL TECHNOLOGY

Meeting customer expectations for omnichannel experiences is key to the success of the mall of the future, argues Peter Tonstad in his PropTech column. His company, Placewise, is heavily investing in products in order to address the longer-term expectation that shopping centers will become true omnichannel offerings.

Now, more than ever, consumers want to reduce their overall expenditure, lower their consumption, and adopt sustainable practices. As a result, retail destinations must incorporate sustainability to meet growing customer expectations and nurture their customer relationships. That is why Coniq has created this list of top tips to help start any mall’s sustainability journey.

Retail real estate is facing tough times as we close in on the prospect of a long, cold winter. Amidst the impending energy and economic crisis and an escalating threat resulting from a war in Europe, for many, the fear is here. Investor insecurity is high, and property owners are wary of fuel and finances running into scarce supply. However, as we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, where there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity.

At a time of record high inflation and rising interest rates, consumers are expected to spend less on virtually everything for the foreseeable future. Naturally, companies are focused on operational efficiency and cost cutting. Both investment and innovation are often deferred or postponed.

LATEST TRENDS

A small retailer in southern Germany has become one of Europe’s leading food retailers with major expansion plans: This week Kaufland opened in Bucharest its 1500th store – a great milestone in the Kaufland success story. Angelus Bernreuther, Head of Investor Relationship Management, looks back at Kaufland’s corporate history and explains how, starting with its solid roots, the future of the company is being shaped, especially during challenging times.

The renovation of Angel Central Shopping Center in London is a great example of why the community should not only be involved in the selection of the offer but also in architectural decisions. This article was created as part of reporting on the ACROSS readers’ trip to London in cooperation with the ACSP.

Food halls contradict the traditional real estate model. However, they are a successful format attracting all generations. Here are some examples from Poland.

PLANS OF INVESTORS AND OWNERS

Investors feel safe again in Poland. The total volume of investment transactions in H1 2022 amounted to almost 2.9 billion Euro, which was more than 40% more than in the same period last year. 28% of all investments were made in the shopping center sector.

Altera Vastgoed has acquired off-market local shopping center Het Stroink in Enschede (NL) from WP Retail Invest CV (“WPRI”). The center has recently been renovated by WPRI to create a retail complex with a pharmacy, a medical center, three primary schools, a nursery and a petrol station.

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