Wolf-Jochen Schulte-Hillen. Credit: WJSH
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Shopping Center Performance Report by Ecostra: Fake News or a Scientifically Recognized Method?

It almost reminds one of the 1993 film “Groundhog Day”. The only difference is that Dr. Will, together with his management consultancy Ecostra, has only employed the recurring, annual use of mathematical calculations since 2011, with the purpose of creating a body of evidence, based on statistical methods, that would allow for a ranking of the best shopping centers in Germany to be drawn up.

By Wolf-Jochen Schulte-Hillen, SHSelection

To put it quite clearly: I consider the claim that it is possible to measure the performance of shopping centers on the basis of the method used by Dr. Will and subsequently list them in a ranking of the best centers in Germany to be simply wrong.

Therefore, the publication of such a work under the title of “Shopping Center Performance Report” is misleading, as it is meant to suggest something to the reader that the method applied by Ecostra cannot provide. It only represents a subjective barometer of the mood of a handful of more or less satisfied tenants.

The real estate industry was irritated by the release of this “annual report” and has reacted to its unqualified conclusions by arguing against it in a vociferous and professionally competent manner.

It is merely a simple tenant survey. One should be able to expect that qualified and professionally experienced reporting carried out by the relevant media outlets on the “Shopping Center Performance Report” ensures that this highly important and perfectly technically comprehensible difference is acknowledged in clear and unambiguous terms. Ultimately, however, journalists can always make reference to the title of Dr. Will’s work.

Consequently, it is both important and necessary for the German Council of Shopping Places to provide even the last doubter with a technically sound expert opinion in order to clearly show that the method used by Ecostra is incapable of establishing a ranking of the “Best Shopping Centers in Germany”. Perhaps the team led by Dr. Will has finally begun to realize that their work belongs to the realm of entertainment and not to the real estate industry.


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