May 2020

Ingka Centres announced that a further three of its Meeting Places have successfully re-opened, with malls in Italy and Spain joining those across Europe and China which had already opened their doors to visitors.

Covid-19 led to mobility restrictions throughout Europe, and the range of measures included the closing of shopping centers. In Estonia, where malls were closed for one and a half months, they have been reopened and visitor numbers are good, but it will take another three or four months to return to the former level, believes Guido Pärnits, CEO of the Ülemiste, the largest shopping center in Estonia.

Around two and a half months after the shutdown, the Covid-19 crisis still keeps the retail real estate and placemaking industry well and truly on its toes. Even though stores and marketplaces in many European countries have mostly reopened, dramatic declines in frequencies and revenues remain more of a rule instead of an exception.

In recent years, F&B has been hailed as the retail-centric development equivalent of a knight in shining armor; an offer that cannot be replicated online, that delivers customers an experience worth seeking-out and returning to time and again. The onset and impact of Covid-19 highlights the importance of a successful F&B strategy and the development of appealing F&B destinations that respond to how the customer of the future will shop day and night, and how mixed-use places are stitched together.

IMMOFINANZ started the first quarter of the 2020 financial year with strong operational performance: Rental income rose by 13.4% to EUR 74.0 million, above all due to the expansion of the portfolio through acquisitions and completions as well as growth of 1.9% in like-for-like rental income. The results of asset management increased by 18.1% to EUR 59.5 million, and the results of operations were 18.0% higher at EUR 43.5 million. However, the revaluation results of EUR -45.0 million from standing investments and goodwill reflect the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Net profit for Q1 2020 was therefore negative at EUR -37.6 million.

Eurocommercial announces it has successfully reopened all of its centres in Italy, France and Belgium. The entire portfolio is now open again, as all centres in Sweden have remained open over the past months. Early footfall and sales data from the first few weeks since the end of the lockdown are encouraging.

Designer Outlets Wolfsburg has reopened, presenting interesting new openings with Sunglass Hut and Petrol Industries. Many other stores have also been refurbished and modernized.

Chapman Taylor was appointed by P&P Group to develop a new concept for the 22,000 m2 refurbishment and extension of the old “City Center” shopping centre. With the closure of the old shopping centre in 2017, the outdated 1980s building is now being completely modernised, to be reopened in 2021 as FLAIR Galerie.

The extensive construction work on the 46,000 sq m Potsdamer Platz Arkaden has now begun and is expected to take two years. Brookfield Properties, the asset manager of Potsdamer Platz, and center operator ECE have added Mercato Metropolitano (MM), a pioneer of sustainable community markets from
London, as a new anchor tenant for an area of around 4,400 sq m. At Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Mercato Metropolitano is opening its first location in Germany.

Vastned, the listed European retail property company focusing on ‘venues for premium shopping’, announces an update to the present strategy. The update will be revealed in February 2021 at the publication of the 2020 annual results.

Corona is rapidly changing the world of retail. Shopping centers also experience these changes. Operators and tenants are facing far-reaching changes. Especially the severely affected fashion industry will accelerate these changes.

The need for marketing, centre operations and leasing teams to work together to help their destinations recover faster and stronger from the COVID-19 crisis is paramount. Coniq has written this practical how to guide following numerous conversions with clients and partners so your pre- and post- reopening plans are a huge success.

Business closures and rent losses in the coronavirus crisis have made banks even more cautious about retail properties and shopping centers. In the case of refinancing, portfolio holders have to calculate with higher interest rates and additional equity.

NREP taps Henrik Skak Bender as new COO and partner. The former Group CFO at WS Audiology joins NREP to strengthen the leadership team at a time where focus on culture, performance and people is key for realizing an ambitious 2025 growth plan.

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