The role of leisure, culture and education in shopping centres will come under the spotlight at this year's Mapic retail trade show which has as its 2018 theme: Physical in the Age of Digital.
In an age when consumers – particularly millennials – increasingly favour ‘experience’ over ‘stuff’, retailers and shopping centre owners are pulling out the stops to come up with new ways of gaining their custom. This structural shift – and the dilemma of attracting shoppers to malls and high streets when nearly everything can be purchased online – continues to preoccupy the industry and will be one of the main talking points at Mapic this year.
In the first-ever Mapic Leisure Summit to be held on Tuesday 13 November, delegates will look at the various issues relating to the integration of leisure, including how to source concepts, set up in a retail location, as well as different business models and international trends. The summit will also explore the use of culture and education as new ways for shopping centres to diversify their offering. This trend is already visible at large destination shopping centres such as Westfield London and Klepierre’s Hoog Catharijne mall in Utrecht, where film premieres, culinary workshops and concerts are among the activities being held to attract customers. At Klepierre’s Le Gru mall in Turin, a 1,200 m2 ‘village for children’ gives 4- to 11-year-olds the opportunity to experience the world of adults in various professional settings.
Another first at Mapic this year is a dedicated conference session exploring innovative beauty and wellness services to create customer value. This reflects the rise of wellness locations in shopping centres as consumers attach more importance to the art of taking care of oneself and personal wellbeing.
All these new trends tie in with the overarching theme of Mapic 2018: Physical in the Age of Digital. Featuring over 100 speakers, the conference programme will treat the blurring of the online to offline worlds, the emergence of new physical demands, innovation as a key driver to embrace retail transformation and magnifying the customer experience.
As e-commerce continues to grow worldwide, retail locations are re-evaluating their spaces to focus on social and community uses. A panel session entitled How Property Players & Retailers Match? will examine the business models behind the sharing economy and the online second-hand market. In response to these new digital concepts, shopping centres are looking to make their spaces available for new players as the last link in the purchasing chain.
Nathalie Depetro, director of Mapic, noted: ‘Since the beginning of commerce, merchants and retailers have had to innovate to survive the obstacles brought on by industrial, sociological and technological developments. We must use this fact as a driving force to create the new retail mix of tomorrow.’
This year’s Mapic will also feature a full programme and pavilion dedicated to the UK. The initiative aims to bring together developers and retailers active in the market as well as pitch conference sessions to UK attendees and those interested in brands and projects in the UK.
Major UK retail real estate companies exhibiting at Mapic this year include Westfield, Intu, Hammerson, and New West End Company.
To help generate more international opportunities for UK retailers and property developers as well as to promote the UK Pavilion, Mapic has formed exclusive partnerships with two leading UK players: Revo and The Completely Group. Revo will co-organise a conference session presenting the opportunities of the UK market to the international retail real estate community. The Completely Group, one of the UK’s largest retail deal-making operators, will host its ‘Soapbox’ format: a stage where new and expanding UK retailers will have the opportunity to promote their brands to international decision makers.
Go to www.mapic.com for more information about the fair and conference programme