More than 150 retail real estate professionals converged in Tallinn, Estonia for the 9th ICSC Baltic States Retail Real Estate Annual Conference.
The conference theme “Destination Retail: At the Heart of the Community” attracted local and international expert speakers who discussed the current economic outlook for the region as well as how shopping centres are at the heart of investment, city regeneration, the community and most importantly in the hearts of consumers.
Andrew Phipps, EMEA Head of Retail Research, at CBRE shared his insight into the expansion potential of food & beverage in shopping centres and explored how shoppers interact with food & beverage in different retail formats before introducing a panel discussion with Valerija Lieje, Partner at Behrens M&A International, Normunds Labrencis, Country Manager – Latvia at SIA Forum Cinemas and Vladimir Janevski, General Manager Baltics at Premier Restaurants Latvia SIA (DL for McDonald’s Baltics) who analysed the F&B and entertainment sectors in the Baltics.
The keynote presentation, by Shannon Quilty, CSM, Partner at Senteo and former Head of Retail Property Management at JLL Russia, addressed how to develop relationships with the local communities by touching on what is currently done and crucially, what can be done better. She insisted on the importance of creating value, design experience and memories for customers to transform a rational decision into an emotional one and a one off engagement into a long-lasting relationship.
Marije Braam-Mesken, Senior Associate, Head of EMEA Retail Strategy & Research at CBRE Global Investors also presented “The New Customer” and showed how they are influencing and changing shopping centres‘ portfolios. “After analysing four types of customers, we have come to the conclusion that predictable patterns of consumer spending no longer apply. Instead we see new types of consumers in our shopping centres that are defying their usual gender, age and income categories,” Marije said.
Mike Morrissey, Executive Vice President of ICSC said: “Our Baltic States Annual Conference is an important event for the region. It’s great to see so many delegates in attendance to hear from a diverse range of speakers from across the world.”