Reinhard Winiwarter, Publisher of ACROSS Magazine and Managing Director of sma; Credit: SMA

Fresh wind

The European shopping center industry can look back on an exciting year 2016.


Big Data, retail technology, the rise of online retail, the return of retail to city centers, the security of shopping centers, and constantly changing consumer purchasing behavior and how we react to it are just some of the topics that are currently shaping our industry.

In other words, the industry faces serious challenges once again. Overcoming them will not be easy. The industry is of course working hard on meeting the challenges of our time. It is nevertheless fascinating to see how strikingly similar the newly chosen paths taken by the big players are.

We’ve observed that the industry has become ever more tightly networked in recent years. It’s grown into a “small and cozy family.” Everyone knows everyone. The scene forms a self-contained loop and the list of European leaders, almost exclusively experts with years of industry experience, is quite short. You will generally search in vain for top managers from outside the industry.

Of course, progressive community building also serves as an effective means to help identify any industry-related problem areas. Whether it brings us closer to possible innovative and successful solutions is questionable, however. Apparently only a few companies are willing to risk thinking outside the industry box.

Why are newcomers so rare in the upper echelons of the shopping center industry? Why is it that in Europe, in contrast to other continents, the law of almost insurmountable industry boundaries continues to be in effect? Do you have an answer?

Newcomers arrive with refreshing ideas, impetus, and successful models from other industries. They generally promote innovation and progress. Industry changers usually have an unbiased view of things, which sometimes does not exist internally. They have no problem with developing new ideas, trying new business models, or implementing new concepts. They proceed unencumbered onto new assignments and have no consideration for old boys’ networks and relationships. In addition, outsiders often provide good protection against undue conformity.

It obviously still requires a lot of courage to allow outsiders to start careers in the industry. Those who summon such courage, however, could ultimately reap real rewards.


What is your opinion on this topic? Discuss it with us! Send your opinion to !

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

Opinion MORE

Multi Poland: Marketing is a Key Value Driver for Real Estate Assets

In times of unpredictability, marketing spending is usually the first candidate for budget cuts. Marketing management in the commercial real estate sector must be highly focussed on the issues that are fundamental to the business of property owners which directly contributes to increasing their value.

Chase The Right Numbers

Racing after numbers, reading year-end reports, statistics and percentages: this chase is not but characterized by a kind of tunnel view, which limits the possibilities of growth. If you want to adapt, you need to consider every aspect of your target audience to keep on top of the changes in consumer behavior. Footfall is reflecting your detailed expertise, not producing it. What businesses need is direct connection to their customers: establish a relationship, explore needs and demands, and use the right tools to aid this pursuit.

Why outlets are the place for the independent retailer

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the message to the UK has been to shop local and support your community during the incredibly difficult period that we all faced. Even as town and city centers began to open up again, independent retailers have maintained their position in the spotlight of the retail industry, be it bricks and mortar or online.

Focus buys Turawa Park shopping center in Poland

Ukrainian real estate investor Focus Estate Fund has acquired the Turawa Park shopping center in Opole, southern Poland, from Edinburgh-based Abrdn for an undisclosed sum.

It is time for shopping centers to embrace e-commerce

“It is imperative for shopping centers to become part of the e-commerce economy; otherwise, your business will decline in the upcoming years.”

When there’s a will, there’s a way: The path to net zero carbon retail real estate

“Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: Either we stop it–or it stops us. It’s time to say: enough.”