The European shopping center market overvalues design and investment but needs to pay more attention to atmosphere, interaction, and service, says Will Odwarka. This hurts the centers and especially their gastronomy section. The founder and CEO of Dubai-based Heartatwork Hospitality Consulting explains in his conversation with ACROSS editor Reinhard Winiwarter why excellent, personable service is the prerequisite for everything in the field of gastronomy.

Despite the current unfavorable economic situation in Poland, retail parks are still growing rapidly. Nevertheless, Trei Real Estate Poland has built and opened 35 retail parks under the Vendo Park brand, and has another three scheduled to open later this year. The company may even say that in the face of many market challenges business is going very well.

MEC again increased its rental performance compared to the already strong prior-year period. The contractual partners include Woolworth, Ernstings Family, Takko, C&A, Media Markt, Kaufland, Deichmann, Aldi, Rossmann, Kik and alltours.

While the mood in Central and Western Europe’s retail sector is dominated by “gray clouds”, center developers and operators from the SEE and CEE regions are in a completely different situation. In an interview with ACROSS Publisher Reinhard Winiwarter, Rüdiger Dany, CEO of NEPI Rockcastle, explains his 700 million development pipeline, how NEPI is profiting from ESG, and in which regard the West can learn something from the East.

In recent years, the small town of Woking has gained a reputation as an economic and cultural hub, with an expanding business area, burgeoning arts scene, and busy retail center. Under the visionary leadership of the local authority, the town has been the focus of a major regeneration program, which is set to help realize its commercial potential.

“We want to see people in our meeting places every day, so we are moving towards creating “work/live/play” retail spaces for everyone”, explains Jens Nielsen, Global Commercial & Digital Director at Ingka Centres. Following this approach, F&B has become a main focus of attention. Ingka developed the Saluhall concept to be a joyful community experience. The flexibility of the new sustainable and social concept offers people the freedom they look for, and the ability to experience life together.

NEINVER has obtained Zero Waste certification for 94% of its centers in Europe, making it the first company in the shopping center sector to receive this acclaimed accreditation from the multinational TÜV Rheinland for virtually its whole portfolio across Europe. With this certification, NEINVER cements its position as a leader in sustainability and deepens its commitment to the circular economy.