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ACROSS Outlook 2024 (left), Cindy Andersen (right) /// credit: ACROSS, Ingka Centres
ACROSS Outlook 2024 (left), Cindy Andersen (right) /// credit: ACROSS, Ingka Centres

OUTLOOK 2024: “We Should Collaborate More With Partners Outside Of The Retail Space”

“The future of the placemaking industry lies in meeting people where they are and being part of their everyday lives,” states Cindy Andersen, Managing Director at Ingka Centres, in the latest “Industry Outlook 2024”.

The placemaking industry is all about bringing the many people together and fostering their prosperity. Being a landlord in today’s dynamic environment is no longer about just owning a space.

Today’s visitors demand more from their time and experiences. They expect these places to be a seamless extension of the communities they are part of. This means understanding the unique cultural, economic, and social nuances and integrating them into the very essence of our developments.

In Europe alone, there are around 11,000 shopping malls, retail parks, outlets and hypermarkets. Our industry is in a strong position to create a positive impact on the development of local communities, and businesses. As an example, making a sustainable and responsible lifestyle, the preferred choice for the many people. Environmental changes are happening now, impacting lives and changing behaviors. For the placemaking industry, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

We need to look past the idea of shopping centers, retail parks and malls as places merely to consume, but places to grow, learn, connect, meet and have fun in ways that are kinder to people and the planet. Future consumers will expect to see mixed-use spaces that reflect their unique cultures, needs and aspirations. To offer our future visitors what they need, we should collaborate more with partners outside of the retail space who are innovative thinkers and focus on non-conventional, sustainable, or integrated digital offers.

Many of the global surveys confirm that people, especially younger generations and people living in big cities, are looking for brand experiences that bring joy and make them smile. And these findings resonate perfectly with our vision of the global importance of play. Through play, we connect, develop, repair, and express ourselves. That’s why our ambition is to offer outstanding playful experiences within our portfolio.

I am confident that the future of the placemaking industry lies in meeting people where they are and being part of their everyday lives. Creating locations that visitors truly value and where they naturally want to come. Spaces where people can grow, businesses can flourish, and give back to the community.

Next year is certain to bring change, challenge, and opportunity. My hope, and wish is that by working together as one with the communities in which we operate, our industry can bring the many people together to make sure 2024 is a year of change for the better.

Cindy Andersen

Cindy Andersen is Managing Director at Ingka Centres.


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