Retail | Ticker

ACROSS Retail Talks focus on the outlet center industry

The online event was dedicated to the Covid-19-related question: European Outlets–back to normal? A large and prominent expert audience followed the discussion.

On June 24, 2020 at 5pm CET, ACROSS–The European Placemaking Magazine welcomed the participants of the already fourth edition of the ACROSS Retail Talks. Due to Covid-19, the event took place online with the crisis-related headline: European Outlets–back to normal?

From Vienna, ACROSS publisher Reinhard Winiwarter welcomed the many participants and handed the reins over to Klaus Striebich, the Managing Director of RaRE Advise from Besigheim, Germany who is also a member of the ACROSS Advisory Board. He introduced the star-studded online panel: Otto Ambagtsheer (CEO of VIA Outlets), Stephan Fickl (Group Leasing Director of Neinver) as well as Thomas Reichenauer (Managing Director of ROS – retail outlet shopping and member of the ACROSS Advisory Board). Mario Schwann (Center Manager of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Parndorf) joined the panel later on. Striebich explained to the virtual audience that they could ask questions by using the chat function–participation was free, by the way. This opportunity was seized quite frequently.

Watch a short video summary of the latest ACROSS Retail Talk (approx. 10 min):

Click here for the uncut version of the latest ACROSS Retail Talk.

Three topic ranges

The discussion focused on three topic ranges and started with “The crisis and its impact”. Fickl emphasized that the main concern at any time was the safety of customers, tenants, and staff. The reopenings led to the question how to accommodate as many guests as possible and still comply with distancing regulations. Footfall is generally returning. Customers are currently spending less time shopping and make their purchases in a more deliberate manner than before the crisis. According to Reichenauer, customers readily accepted the new safety measures. For example, security staff was expanded. Ambagtsheer emphasized in this regard that open-air outlet centers have a clear advantage right now. Customers feel more comfortable and safer out in the fresh air. VIA Outlets had already established protocols for this crisis situation by the end of January.

The second topic range comprised “Retailers & Brands”. Schwann, who joined the discussion at this point, was talking about brand partners in this respect. The practiced and fair collaboration with retailers forms the foundation for success in the European outlet center industry. Fickl, Ambagtsheer, and Reichenauer agreed wholeheartedly. All of them also agreed that there is no one-mix-fits-all solution for tenants and that each case requires an individual approach. According to Ambagtsheer, beauty brands are on the rise. Fickl agreed and mentioned Rituals as an example. He also sees brands of outdoor sports gaining ground and stressed the importance of pop-up areas for online retailers. Reichenauer was glad that all shops at all ROS-managed outlet centers had reopened; up until that point, Covid-19 did not cause an ultimate breaking point for them. He also said that fashion brands remain important, but food & beverage as well as entertainment become increasingly relevant.

Optimistic outlook

„Looking ahead into the future“ was the title of the third topic range. Ambagtsheer’s prognosis is deliberately positive. He talked about a brighter future and feels vindicated by the solid rebound figures at VIA Outlets. The industry’s main concern is and will have to be to provide a perfect day out for its guests. For Fickl, the rebound figures were better than expected. He believes that the outlet center market will continue to grow, but he expects a certain degree of consolidation–even among brands. Reichenauer believes that intensifying the already mentioned brand partnerships will be particularly important in the future. These are long-term partnerships that have to remain that way. Schwann also sees the industry well underway towards the future, also because the industry is successfully making its move to the digital realm

The next ACROSS Retail Talks on exciting European topics are being planned right now. We will keep you posted.

Sign up for our ACROSS Newsletter. Subscribe to ACROSS Magazine.

Ticker MORE

Waitrose appoints new Retail Director

The John Lewis Partnership announced that Tina Mitchell will join Waitrose as Retail Director.

Anette Simpson Appointed as Chair of ULI United Kingdom

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has announced the appointment of Anette Simpson, director of development and partnerships, Legal & General Affordable Homes, as chair of ULI United Kingdom (ULI UK). She succeeds Vanessa Hale, director of research, BNP Paribas Real Estate, and will officially begin her voluntary two-year term on 1 July 2021.

Sonae Sierra avoided costs of €15 million in 2020 by implementing eco-efficiency measures

The Company has reduced its CO2 emissions by 84% since 2005 and electricity consumption by 66% since 2002.

Yardi Acquires We Are Forge Ltd to Further Expand Visitor Management Integrated with Access Control Capabilities

Yardi® announced the acquisition of We Are Forge Ltd (Forge), a Bristol, UK based software company, that specialises in visitor management and smart access control for a wide range of real estate asset classes including, office, retail, industrial, flexible workspace and the education sector.

Serravalle Designer Outlet goes beyond fashion with new state-of-the-art leisure concept

McArthurGlen is pleased to announce the official opening of "Play Land", a brand new 6,000 square metre leisure concept at Designer Outlet Serravalle that is dedicated to family entertainment. The 7 million euro attraction introduces a new state-of-the-art experiential element to the centre that further enhances the shopping experience for guests of all ages.

EXPO REAL: the network to meet again in Munich

Preparations for Expo Real 2021—to be held from October 11 to 13 at the trade fair center in Munich—run at full speed, opening a long-awaited perspective for the international real estate industry.