Christine Hager, Chair of the German Council of Shopping Centers e.V. (GCSC).

Good Mood and Exciting Perspective

“The complete focus on the customer, with his ideas and wishes regarding shopping, has progressively become the benchmark for tailormade developments.” By Christine Hager.

For three years now, the German Council of Shopping Centers has questioned its members at the end of each year about the mood in the industry over the past year as well as the mood regarding the new year that is set to begin. The balanced mix of participants across all sectors, together with a good, stable number of participants, provides an overview of the atmospheric picture in the German retail industry.

Looking back, we can see that business in 2018 shaped up well at 85.2%. That is the highest figure for three years, although it is interesting to note that center management companies and operators, in particular, gave a significantly more positive assessment. However, the mood is slightly clouded, albeit at a very high level, for 2019.

Around 79% of respondents expect a very positive to positive business performance, while 3.5% expect a negative course. 17.4% are undecided about what is to come. In detail, the survey then provides insight into the key challenges and reasons for the mood. 37% see the development towards omnichannel trading as the biggest challenge in the industry, followed by 14% who consider the topic of customer orientation to be particularly important. The third biggest challenge, at 13%, consisted of rents, yields, and turnovers.

Looking at the challenges and the continued good mood, I realize that there is a steadily growing, and soon powerful, movement of change in the German retail real estate sector.

More and more companies have begun to deal with digital technologies in order to develop brick-and-mortar retail into successful omnichannel trading. The complete focus on the customer, with his ideas and wishes regarding shopping, has progressively become the benchmark for tailormade developments.

What is new for me is the fact that companies are increasingly driving themselves to become better and less driven by pure online trading. This recurrent self-confidence of brick-and-mortar retail in an omnichannel world may eventually lead to a continued good mood in Germany during turbulent times elsewhere.

The fast availability of goods and the genuine, “real” shopping experience that offers a large variety of products can only exist in a stationary trading world that includes simultaneous omnichannel trade. Pure online retailers will not be able to afford that. In the end, customers are human and want things that are personally sold by people. Therefore, optimism in Germany is also appropriate for 2019.

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

Retail MORE

Barcelona Cruise Port Terminals A & B Redesigned

After the opening of several Duty Frees at various airports worldwide, umdasch has expanded its reach to more cruise ports via Barcelona Cruise Port Terminals A & B. Work on the redesign has recently been completed.

News from Harrods Dining Hall

umdasch has unveiled the next phase of the Knightsbridge store renovation.

Online Retail or Stationary Retail: Neither One Can Live without the Other

When considering the future of retail, it often seems that there will only be one relevant market place: the Internet. Will online retailers really replace stationary retailers? Let’s take a look at current developments, with physical retailers who have focused on growing their businesses online now shifting back to growing their stationary presence. One might ask why. The reason is very simple: retailers, particularly those in the fashion industry, need to satisfy their customers’ demand for experience as well as convenience and choice, and that can best be delivered in a physical space. By Katharina von Schacky

Why buy when you can borrow?

The Sharing Economy is the internet generation’s latest trend. Bustling online portals like Airbnb and Uber show us every day that there is money to be made by “sharing instead of buying”. At the ICSC European Conference in Barcelona, the concept “Library of Things” shows that the sharing economy can also be an interesting approach for stationary retail.

Study from Deloitte | Global Powers of Retailing 2019

Deloitte’s latest “Global Powers of Retailing 2019” study has listed the 250 top-selling retail companies for the 22nd time.

Muji Expands into Switzerland – First store at Glattzentrum

The Muji retail chain, which is worth billions, is opening its first branch in Zurich next autumn.