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On March 31, the latest edition of the successful online series ACROSS RETAIL TALKS took place.

The chosen topic could not have been more controversial: THE NEW ROLE OF RETAIL.

The hosts Reinhard Winiwarter (Publisher ACROSS Magazine) and Klaus Striebich (RaRE Advise) discussed this very exciting topic with the following top industry experts:

  • Cindy Andersen, Managing Director Ingka Centres
  • Chris Igwe, Igwe International
  • Marcus Wild, Chairman SES Supervisory Board and Member of the Executive Board of Spar Group Austria

After a brief introduction, Reinhard Winiwarter handed over to expert moderator Klaus Striebich, who, as usual, led the round competently and charmingly.

Click HERE to watch the entire talk:

Klaus Striebich and Reinhard Winiwarter summarized the main points of the discussion for you:

  • Changes in consumer behavior triggered by the pandemic will remain with us in many areas. We have to be prepared for this, especially in the online retail sector. The oft-mentioned phrase “back to normal” must therefore be viewed critically. The “old normal” no longer exists.
  • In the future, all concepts will be very much about communicating values, qualities, and sustainability. The more genuine and credible this is, the fitter the concept. The price factor is no longer so important.
  • In particular, the issue of sustainability–both in terms of customer behavior and offerings, and also in terms of the property itself–will play a prominent role in the future and may become a decisive success factor. 
  • Covid has been an accelerator in many areas and has revealed weaknesses in existing concepts much more quickly. The future is generally becoming faster; both in terms of decision-making and the adaptability of concepts.
  • The shopping center (in the old familiar terminology) is dead; it’s about creating meeting places. The motto is: “Create spaces and social places”. This also requires the new job description of a “meeting place manager”, whose tasks extend much further than those of today’s traditional shopping center managers.
  • The relationship between landlord and tenant will become closer in the future. It is a matter of understanding the business model of the other side (understanding the mindset of the other) more precisely. Listening carefully to the wishes and needs of the other party is essential. “We talk a lot and don’t listen” will not be a good strategy in the future. Joint (location) strategy development is one of the future success factors. 
  • In the future, good food anchors will be particularly important for centers.
  • Gastronomy will continue to play an important role in future location concepts. The lessons learned from the pandemic are to be implemented. The integration of gastronomy into the overall appearance of brands was also mentioned in the discussion as a promising gastronomy strategy. 
  • The assessment of catchment areas and the resulting sector mix at the sites will change. Size Matters will continue to have its place in the future. However, aspects such as individual adaptation of the sector mix, regionality and, above all, the flexible composition of the sector mix will increasingly come to the fore. The conception of locations will become more complex, more individual, and more precise (a uniform mix for success no longer exists). 
  • Individual transport could become increasingly important; key terms here are the pandemic and a sense of security.
  • In general: The ability to learn (quickly) and leadership skills will be success factors, coupled with a consistently high demand for operational excellence.

Click HERE to watch the entire ACROSS Retail Talk.

The ACROSS Retail Talks will continue. The topic of the next talk is already being worked on. This talk will take place around mid/end of May.