Europe's food retailers are being put to the test by the eco- nomic consequences of the natural disaster Covid-19. This is a very special kind of weather situation. While non-food retailers and the food service industry are in sheer despair in the face of the calm caused by government-imposed lockdowns, the "system-relevant" food retail sector has been confronted with a veritable storm tide since the sec- ond quarter of 2020.
Industry leaders told us about the sales impact Corona had on their business in 2020. They also explain what fundamental changes in location, sales, and marketing strategy they are planning for 2021/2022 in response to the widespread economic impact of the pandemic.
“The challenge in 2021 is to get back to business at a full speed, understanding that unemployment has gone up considerably in some countries, that the power spend of our customers might have suffered and that, disappointingly but not surprisingly, too many governments in this world do not seem to have control over the pandemic situation.”
“Placemaking is a process. It is a means to an end: The creation of quality places.”
“Now is the time for malls and retailers to step up and become the centers of community that they have professed to be for at least a decade.”
Empty food courts, declining sales figures, stricter hygiene regulations, and shortened opening hours have created problems for gastronomy operators within shopping centers. As a result, alternative interim concepts are in high demand.
The new, close relationship with customers. These are the strategies that retailers and operators apply to prepare for life after the crisis.
“It will be important for retailers – particularly smaller retailers that do not have their own online platforms – to be connected to a larger, joint partnership-oriented platform and to utilize their own stores as warehouses as well to make deliveries to buyers from the stores.”
Immofinanz succeeded in its effort to swiftly react to the Covid-19 crisis. Gerald Grüll, Head of Retail, explains why and how that happened in an interview with ACROSS.
“Many of the key trends that were driving our business before Covid-19, such as the digitalization of retail, sustainability, urbanization, community engagement, and social trends are here to stay.”
The industry’s magic word that is supposed to upgrade locations and make them future-proof.
“Placemaking is key – and more challenging than it seems.”
“We should not be haunted by digitalization and rather than think hard what makes our projects special.”
“Online neighborhood and event-centric groups and forums have provided suitable non-physical spaces for public discussions – sometimes referred to as urban acupuncture.”
Amancio Ortega Gaona - A Non-pretentious Fashion Entrepreneur.
Shopping centers have been opening up on their sides towards the outdoors for quite some time. Now they are opening up on their rooftops as well. Green and activity roofs are all the rage right now.
In Western Europe, where retail park development has reached maturity, new schemes have to be innovative and compelling. In Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the market is relatively undersupplied, providing scope for increased levels of development activity. These are the findings of a recent study conducted by Cushman & Wakefield.
The Belgian De Vlier Retail Development Group has been planning and constructing retail parks in Belgium, France, and Austria under the Frunpark umbrella brand for close to 20 years. In an interview with ACROSS, Managing Director Peter De Roo reflects upon the last two decades and looks toward the future.
Location marketing becomes increasingly important. This is the way to sustainably boost a shopping center’s frequency and revenue.
The technological challenges that brick-and-mortar retail faces – a deliberately critical scenario.