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Recruitments, promotions and appointments in the European Retail Real Estate Industry: Atrium European Real Estate, Multi Corporation, Immofinanz, HB Reavis, TriGranit, Commerz Real, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Catella, CBRE Austria, Capital & Regional, Corpus Sireo, Grosvenior, Hines, JLL Germany, Northern Horizon, Strabag PFS, Valad Europe, Echo Polska Properties, and Revo.

How retail technology and increasing digitalization are changing retail and the shopping center industry.

Investment in German retail properties is declining. The transaction volume is increasing significantly only in retail parks. Retail parks currently offer good investment opportunities in the UK as well.

According to Stephan Austrup, Head of Retail in Germany at TH Real Estate, omni-channeling and digitalization are key drivers of change. In all acquisitions and in business plans for existing portfolios, he therefore considers the impact of this change on retail formats, retailers’ required floor plans, and whether the property provides the necessary layout flexibility.

Retail properties are defined by their users: retailers. If their occupants are doing well, the objects are considered to be attractive, sustainable investments.

According to a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield, the sales area of European retail parks will increase by 50% more in 2016 than in the previous year. This growth is due mainly to developments in France, Italy, and the UK.

I have been watching with interest the change in fortunes of the large supermarkets, both in the UK and across Europe. Consumers have demanded “more and different” from their regular retailers and the discounters have stepped up and delivered it.

In an article for the textile industry entitled “The party is over,” which appeared after Expo Real in Munich, Jörg Nowicki described the reluctance of retailers to rent new spaces. As it turns out, there is, in fact, a significant imbalance between the bullish investment market in commercial real estate and the slowing desire for expansion among retailers.

At Expo Real, MEC Metro-ECE Centermanagement and its proven partners Corpus Sireo, Dr. Lademann & Partner, GfK, TH Real Estate, and, for the first time, Savills, presented the third edition of “Retail Parks in Germany.” The report centers mainly on customer focus. The most important finding: a complete rethink is required to provide consistently customer-oriented management of retail real estate.

The Ringstrassen Galerien in the heart of the Austrian capital are among the country’s top retail areas. The turnover per square meter has for years been well above the average for Austrian shopping centers. Now the site has been prescribed a comprehensive facelift. The future Opera Mall Vienna (its new marketing name) will be positioned as “The Home of Affordable Luxury.”

Unsurprisingly, project development in the country has been interrupted. But in Kiev alone, about 20 malls with around 1 million sq m of GLA are currently at various stages of completion, possibly opening in 2017-2018, according to UTG.

GfK has carried out a comprehensive analysis of the European retail scene in 32 European countries. The study examines purchasing power, the retail share of the population’s total expenditures, inflation, sales area productivity as well as changes in retail due to eCommerce, as well as a turnover prognoses for 2015. The study will appear in the forthcoming edition of ACROSS Magazine, which will be published in June.

Retail parks are currently a hot topic of conversation: The retail format is increasingly the first choice among retailers and consumers and investors are now following suit. GfK retail expert Manuel Jahn explores why retail parks constitute a sustainable investment with genuine substance.

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