Hannu Käki, VP, Business Development at HyperIn in Helsinki. Credit: HyperIn
Opinion

Composed a reopening package

“We from HyperIn partnered with Helsinki-based retail placemaking agency Propdea Oy to contribute a more holistic approach to serve the industry decision makers.”

By Hannu Käki

The past months have been very different for our clients. When the first wave of Covid-19 hit Europe, shopping centers were faced with an unforeseen situation. In order to protect and care for their customers, tenants, and employees, shopping centers across Europe had to drastically limit their operations–all while preparing to deal with a potentially devastating economic impact.

At HyperIn, we saw how critical tenant and consumer communication was at that time. Commercial information was being updated and changed in accordance with the latest regulations. Also, our customer service team was a great support for many of our clients in distress. 

Back in March, we wanted to help our clients by hosting a webinar on crisis management, which gained a lot of positive feedback. Also, as the world was preparing to let go of the commercial restrains, we set our goals towards supporting the retail real estate industry planning to “reopen again”. Reopening, while anticipated, would hold a lot of uncertainties and open questions. Also, information kept changing constantly. Thus, our approach was to identify some of the best practices to consider during a responsible and well-managed reopening.

In doing so, we partnered with Helsinki-based retail placemaking agency Propdea Oy to contribute a more holistic reopening approach to serve the industry decision makers during late spring and summer. Propdea has a strong presence and a lot of experience in retail real estate development. Particularly, their strategic and solution-driven take on consumer-user experience added significant value to HyperIn’s multichannel communication core and retail service platform. By joining forces, our aim is to connect the physical, social, and digital aspects of the shopping center experience with communication management.

As a first step of our new partnership, we composed a reopening package that we shared with shopping center operators. With this package we provide a few suggestions on how to re-connect with shopping center users. We discuss the temporal shift in consumer orientation and how to adjust the “customer journey” to cater to the current expectations, concerns and needs. We also pointed out how to respond to the increasing demand for both consumer and tenant communication as well as the value of participating tenants in communication operations.

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“In times of crisis we must adapt or die, while taking care of our employees and the communities that we serve.”

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„The reopening showcased our strength as a pan-European platform, as we shared the experiences of each country reopening, starting with Germany in mid-May, followed by all of the countries we are operating in.“

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“We created a whole series of protocols aimed at returning the shopping center to normal.”

Reopening to New Possibilities

“It is evident that digital reach for malls will be more important than ever before as the world emerges from Covid-19.”

Looking to the future with optimism

“Although it is still too early to determine changes in customer behavior, our preliminary assessment after the first few weeks of the reopening is optimistic in terms of sales and inflows.”

The consequences of the lockdown

“Now, ULI Europe’s latest report, ‘Reshaping Retail–Accelerating Change’, forecasts that the impact of Covid-19 will accelerate the restructuring of the retail property sector, even more so in the United Kingdom.”