From your point of view, what should the placemaking industry expect in 2023?
We are carrying a lot of uncertainty into 2023. Global inflation and increased interest rates have or will most likely have an impact on shoppers’ ability or willingness to spend. That means shoppers will be more price-sensitive than ever before, going online to compare prices and possibly increasing the use of e-commerce. That again will drive demand for omnichannel offerings delivered by shopping centers.
What opportunities and challenges do you see?
In 2022, it has been recognized more than ever by both the industry and outside the industry that the optimal retail offering is a combination of physical and e-commerce, not one or the other. We expect that trend to further evolve in 2023. Having said that, maybe half of the industry will seize the moment and ramp up its digital strategy and offerings. The other half might be forced to focus on cost-improvement measures given the economic outlook. If so, digital is also very often the solution to get efficiency gains in operations.
In your view, is the placemaking industry facing any fundamental or long-term changes?
Yes, the ongoing transition to become the true omnichannel offering that shoppers expect and want. And as more and more properties are being transformed into mixed-use, the same goes for residents and workers in these same properties.
What do you recommend / what are your hopes for the industry and market participants?
My recommendation is to seize any opportunity to take the next steps in digital evolution. For the placemaking industry, it is a transformation and not a situation where digital is outcompeting physical as many other industries have experienced. So, from that perspective, the industry is privileged. I wish the industry a very prosperous 2023, despite all the uncertainties we all must relate to.
Read more about expert opinions in our Online Special: “Industry Outlook 2023”.