As the retail property industry gathered in Cannes for the 25th edition of MAPIC, the driving force behind the programme was the evolution of retail spaces and places – with topics like leisure, innovation and the new retail mix being discussed throughout the three days.
Amongst the 8,200 participants, who came from over 80 countries to take part in the most important event in the retail property calendar, were 2,000 retailers, 2,200 developers and 1,300 investors all reflecting, discussing and debating the ever-evolving retail market.
Retail is experiencing a decisive shift, where the very definition of the word is being reinvented. With MAPIC 2019, as the world’s leading retail real estate event, the theme ‘Retail Remixed: Rethinking Spaces and Places’, provided a platform to explore what the new rules of retail are together with key players from the industry.
One of the main industry-wide changes that was discussed throughout the conference was diversification in the retail property sector. Shopping places do not just provide shops and restaurants any more, they also provide services, hotels & apartments, co-working spaces, the coolest cocktail bars and entertainment as well as state-of-the-art fitness and sporting facilities. Resisted for decades, mixed-use has emerged as the new norm for modern development and regeneration and dominated discussion throughout the event.
At a panel named How co-working, co-living & cultural changes redesign shopping destinations, Jamie Hodari, CEO & Co-Founder of co-working specialist Industrious, said: “We’ve found that ground floor office space now performs much better than the upper floors. People want to be constantly moving in their life. This plays so well in a mall setting where people want to do their grocery shopping after work, or meet friends for a coffee on their lunch.”
As digital, technology and new uses continue to radically change the customer journey, Innovation in Retail was a dominant theme throughout the three days with the MAPIC Innovation Forum, which covered all aspects of innovation including location intelligence, omnichannel services, SAAS, loyalty, customer experience, signage, AI and traffic and performance analysis. Global retail property and retail players were able to find, discuss and seize opportunities that are offered by this new retail shift in the bricks and mortar space for an omnichannel approach.
The three days allowed key industry players to find solutions through innovation, technology, digital transformation and engagement to enhance customer services.
Daniel Martinho-Corbishley, CEO of Aura Vision, commented in his Innovation Flash Talk presentation: “There is much talk about google analytics for real world shopping experiences, but what we have to deliver now is more like superpowers for shopping places”.
The new retail mix includes more than just stores – it is very much about food and beverage, services, beauty and wellness – and, not least, leisure. On the eve of MAPIC 2019, the Leisure Day, a full day of conferences focussed on the integration of leisure in lifestyle destinations. The digital revolution has caused consumer behaviours to transform; customers are now craving experiences, conviviality, socialisation, education and new discoveries.
Andreas Veilstrup Andersen, Executive Vice President of Tivoli Gardens, delivered the keynote speech entitled ‘Leisure: The Cutting Edge of Urban Enchantment’ which explored how leisure and entertainment plays a crucial role in the attractiveness of cities.
Veilstrup Andersen told his audience: “It is in the synergies between retail and experiences that we will find the future integrated business model of shopping. A distinct similarly between modern retail and attractions is about being something much more important: a meeting place.”
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