Page 1

B U S I N E S S ,





SEPTEMBER 2/2015 (2) | | 14,99 euro | ISSN 2450-1530


THINKING GLOBALLY, ACTING LOCALLY The unexpected shopping experience Interview with ARNAUD BURLIN, Managing Director of Central Europe and Austria at Unibail-Rodamco

60 000 m2 GLA 130 000 m2 GFA 40 000 m2 of park Brick and mortar shopping & leisure space combined with Poland’s no. 1 modern art collection in public space

Over 210 shops Over 30 restaurants and cafés Over 100 events a year The natural habitat of the Mobile Natives Generation, with omnichannel experience of their favorite brands

Most welcome for experimental pop-up shops

Top location for top incoming brands on Polish market

No. 2 in Europe in terms of the number of iBeacons in use in retail sector

Far beyond shopping. Meet-up spot for fashion experts, start-up founders and bloggers from all over the world. We love them – they love us!

Stary Browar New thinking, new shopping, new art. New tomorrow.

Over 30% votes for Stary Browar in the National Geographic Traveller plebiscite „New 7 Wonders of Poland”

Nearly 70 000 Facebook fans Over 7 500 Instagram followers

Join us! Contact: 00 48 501 199 760 00 48 61 859 60 71 Poznań, Poland,







I N C O O P E R AT I O N W I T H :


Go inside a world of retail opening night 17 Nov. 2015

18-20 nov. 2015 Cannes, France

Join more than 8,400 international retail & real estate leaders

MAPIC is a registered trademark of Reed MIDEM- All rights reserved.

The ultimate event to connect, transact, learn and share

In partnership with


Thinking globally, acting locally Interview with ALI KAZMA, chairman of Kidz Holding

42 FEUILLETON The future of the shopping mall for the connected generation


18 An unmistakable touch of Italian style


Interview with GIMMI BALDININI, the President of Baldinini

The future of outlet centres in Europe


Watch this space: the rise of wearable technology… and the impact on retailers



Modern customer analytics using social media and open source big data tools

Make a real connection with shoppers

Interview with KATHY SMITH, King of Prussia Mall’s Director of Marketing & Business Development




Power of information

Q&A The Mall is a critical part of everyday life

Interview with TALAL DHIYEBI, Chief Development Officer at ALDAR Properties

24 Preparing for a new future Interview with CHRIS COLLARIS, architect and owner of Chris Collaris Design

32 The unexpected shopping experience

Interview with ARNAUD BURLIN, Managing Director of Central Europe and Austria at Unibail-Rodamco


They say knowledge is power. In the Internet era, these words are more true than ever. New technologies and innovations are the main themes of major professional conferences all around the world. Just a few years ago, customer polling was based on different surveys and forms. Today, brands increasingly use the analysis of customers’ social media activity on Facebook or Instagram. Various tools, such as Hadoop or NoSQL databases, can serve as great sources of information for the brands. The results of such analyses are very accurate and reliable, as they are based on actual impulsive reactions of the consumers. Also the world of shopping centres and retail chains has embraced new technologies and innovations. Ibrahim Ibrahim from Portland talked about how facilities of tomorrow will look like. Obviously, the online and offline worlds will be intertwined and complement each other, creating a comprehensive whole. If you’re worried about the fate of traditional stores, don’t be. The Time Trade’s 2015 report shows that touching and feeling a product before purchase remains of utmost importance for 85% of the consumers. Even today, shopping centres and retail chains are already engaging in innovative solutions and new services for the customers. The Black Gold, a multifunctional facility in a huge tanker, could be described as a project of the future. But new solutions are equally available for traditional old facilities and brands. The King of Prussia Mall was opened over 50 years ago. Today, the Mall undergoes another, eighth renovation. Thanks to constant improvements, the Mall is very popular among the customers. The figures speak for themselves: the Mall is visited by 20 m people a year. Following the latest trends and being open to new technologies in retail is no longer perceived as something out of the ordinary, but rather as a necessity. When a shopping centre stops following the global trends, it will quickly become obsolete. The Shopping Mall Expert is here to help you follow the latest news from the world of retail. Enjoy your reading Agnieszka Nejman Editor in Chief

PUBLISHER: CentraNet s.c., Dominik Rybarczyk, Paweł Tracichleb ul. Wronczyńska 10, 60-102 Poznań, PL 7792294126, EDITORIAL OFFICE: Shopping Mall Magazine, ul. 28 Czerwca 1956 r. 314 c, 61-469 Poznań tel. + 48 (61) 282-17-24,, DTP AND PHOTO EDITION: Joanna Szczepaniak, CentraNet s.c. EDITOR IN CHIEF: Agnieszka Nejman tel. + 48 (61) 415-51-24,

The "spirit of retailing" is embedded in our genes

Interview with MARCUS WILD, CEO SES Spar European Shopping Centers & ICSC Divisional Vice President Europe


EDITORIAL BOARD AND Marta Mrowińska, Marta Wiśniewska, Caroline Lamy, Nathan Nickels, COLLABORATORS: Ankur Gupta, Ibrahim Ibrahim, Sophie McCarthy, Dido Tetley PRINT: Print Studio in Kobyłka The Editorial Board of The Shopping Mall Expert has a right to select the received material as well as to proofread and shorten the received texts. Unsolicited material will not be returned. All material published in The Shopping Mall Expert is protected by copyright. The Editorial Board is not liable for the content of advertisements and press releases. Non-contractual dissemination of publications is not allowed. Cover photo: Ali Kazma, courtesy of Kidz Holding







Ted Baker, a British fashion brand, has unveiled its new format store on 132 Commercial Street in London, Ted Baker & Moore. Along their brick-and-mortar shop, the brand has also created a virtual store to allow people across the globe to browse the shop online. Customers can navigate the virtual store using a computer mouse. The site uses high-resolution photography which helped bring this experience to life. What is interesting, customers can come up close to virtual hangers and shelves and choose the products they like. After double-clicking on a selected item, the shopper receives information about the price and can be transferred directly to the Ted Baker online shop in order to purchase.

A GIANT PLAYLAND AT A FASHION STORE At the beginning of summer, Topshop prepared a special surprise for its customers at one of their shops. For one weekend, the Oxford Circus Topshop store has turned into a giant playland where visitors could have fun all day long. Customers could play on different game machines, such as claw machines, as well as enjoy iconic video games such as Ms. Pac-Man. The shop was decorated accordingly. During the fun and play, customers had a chance to win great prizes, including sunglasses and shoes. For those who could not come to the Oxford Circus store personally, an online version of one of the games was available at the brand’s website.


Photo: VansEurope

VANS COLLABORATES WITH JAPANESE ARTIST For its autumn 2015 collection, Vans shoe brand teamed up with famous Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, on a special collection, Vault by Vans. Celebrated for his vibrant paintings and sculptures, in 2008, Murakami was named one of Time magazine’s ’100 Most Influential People‘. Many call him the 21st century Warhol. The new Vans collection reflects his iconic style, inspired by anime, Japanese art, and pop culture. Among many products, customers will be able to buy a t-shirt with the portrait of the artist himself.


KUSMI LOVES GAULTIER Kusmi Tea, a popular tea brand, has unveiled a new special collection of its products. The collection was designed in collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier, a world-famous fashion designer. The design for various tea accessories, including cans and tote bags, was inspired by the artist’s works. The collection is features two of the designer’s recurring motives, sailor stripes and tattoos, with white, navy blue and red as the dominant colours. These characteristic elements, sailor stripes and rose tattoos, can also be found on a special cup designed by the artist.

Good news for the fans of the Cheesecake Factory food: you can now prepare the restaurant’s famous dishes at home. The brand has started to post recipes for their iconic dishes on Pinterest and on their website. The pictures posted on Pinterest contain not only the exact list of ingredients but also step-by-step instructions to recreate the restaurant’s menu at home. Information about new recipes are also posted on the company’s profile on Facebook. Customers are encouraged to share pictures of their culinary endeavours.

Photo: Kusmi Tea






WWW.BOC-UK.COM | +44 207 112 4846 | EVENTS@BOC-UK.COM


LET’S TALK ABOUT DEATH AT WATERSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE ’What do you want to do before dying?’ was a question the customers of the Waterside Shopping Centre were asked. In collaboration with St Barnabas Lincolnshire hospice, the shopping centre wanted to raise awareness among their customers of the importance of talking about death. Customers could leave their answers on a board located in the atrium of the British shopping centre. – The initiative is really focused on the living and making the most of every second we have. Talking about death, dying and bereavement is in everyone’s interest as it can help to ensure that we get what we want out of life and death – said Jane Bake, director of St Barnabas Lincolnshire hospice.


During the ’31 days of happy’ campaign, the customers of Edmonton City Center were invited to complete 31 challenges. There was only one goal: bring a smile to the faces of people visiting this Canadian shopping centre. The challenges were posted each day on the ECC Facebook page. For example, customers were asked to leave a book for another customer, post information about their best friend or leave a post-it with a smiley face drawn on it in an unexpected place. Those who completed all 31 challenges were eligible to win prizes: 31 movie tickets, 31 entry tickets to Jasper Park Lodge and $3,100 in Edmonton City Centre gift cards.


STATE-OF-THE-ART PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CAR PARK AT DEL AMO FASHION CENTER A state-of-the-art car park in an American shopping centre was adapted to the needs of customers driving electric vehicles. So far, most retail facilities had only one charging station. The new car park at Del Amo Fashion Center will offer 21 electric vehicle charging stations, including two fast-charging sites that can recharge shoppers’ vehicles in 30 minutes or less. – Our goal is to continue to offer updated amenities that make shopping at Del Amo Fashion Center even more convenient and enjoyable for our shoppers – said Lindsay Hermance, director of marketing and business development at Del Amo Fashion Center. – We’re excited about all the enhancements taking place, and can’t wait to unveil our new look and feel this fall.


Since the beginning of June, customers at the Frenchgate Shopping Centre have got a chance to start saving for Christmas. They can get a special saving card and activate it with the minimum deposit of £5.00. This way, little by little, in December they will have the cash necessary to buy gifts for their loved ones. – We want our customers to be able to enjoy Christmas shopping instead of worrying about their bank balances – said Laurie Barton Wright, centre manager of Frenchgate Shopping Centre. The card is great for saving up for other large events such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays that can easily put a strain on our budget.

A fundraising campaign is under way for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. The Canadian Coquitlam Centre joined the initiative with something more than just financial aid. Inside a special shaking and moving mobile trailer located on the mall’s car park, the customers had a chance to experience a simulated magnitude 8.0 earthquake. Afterwards, everyone could see the scale of damage caused by the cataclysm, not only by the look of the inside of the trailer, that was arranged to look like an apartment, but also by the look of the surroundings. Additionally, customers could meet and talk with the Red Cross workers and representatives of insurance companies.






Photo: DelAmoFashionCenter


SAVE 15%

The 5th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Evolves into OmniShopper 2015


11-13 November 2015 | Paris, France


International Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center

Revolutionize Your Shopper Strategy to Win in the Emerging Retail Landscape Creating Ideas That Matter

Tim Harford


OmniChannel Experiences

Simon Russell

Director of Retail Operations JOHN LEWIS PARTNERSHIP

In-Store Strategy

Pierre Chandon L’Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing — Sorbonne Behavioral Lab INSEAD

Shaping Consumer Decisions

Nina Mazar


Risk Taking & Decision Making

Caspar Berry


Gain a deeper understanding of shopper behaviour and the point of purchase decisions to drive loyalty revenue. Develop industry-accepted measurement of shopper marketing Elevate your skills, brand experience, and impact at retail Innovative uses of technology, inspiring ual merchandising, new store design

Change Management: Building a more customer focused culture Turn data into brand stories to disrupt in today’s omnichannel market Collaborate across functions, platforms and industries

Brand and Retail stories shared by: Tesco • L’Oreal • Omega Pharma • Warburtons Limited • British-American Tobacco • Coop Danmark • Philips • Sanofi

Activating Insights & Marketing Strategies at Retail #omnishopperevent |

Media Partner:




Ala Moana Center, the biggest shopping centre in Hawaii, will undergo major makeover. As a result, the mall will be expanded by 60000 sq m. The expansion will include a hotel with luxurious apartments, office spaces and, most importantly, a Bloomingdale’s department store that will be commissioned in November 2015. The new three-level department store will offer its customers an extensive roster of brands. The mall’s luxury tenants will be joined by Armani Collezioni, Cami & Jax, Chloe, Gucci, Max Mara, Rebecca Taylor, and many more. The Bloomingdale’s will also feature a spacious hall that could be used as a wedding venue and for other special occasions.

The Menlo Park Mall will undergo a major renovation that will impact both the interior and exterior of the mall. The investment will be completed in November 2015. A popular Cuban restaurant chain, Havana Central, will join the mall’s tenant mix. Also, an adidas store will open, offering sports equipment and apparel. The mall will have a new Center Court gathering space and new flooring. However, the part that will undergo the biggest makeover is the building’s exterior. The shopping centre will look sleek and modern, brighter and more spacious. Moreover, the car park will also be expanded, catering to the needs of the mall’s customers. Exterior lighting system will also be changed.




A NEW SHOPPING CENTRE IN DUBAI Another shopping centre is under development in Dubai. The new facility will be constructed on a circular ground plan with retail and services area spanning over several floors, each of the area of over 100,000 sq m. This circular shopping centre will span over two floors and a roof. A two-level spacious car park will be located underground. The ground floor will feature a supermarket, main entry, a large hall and office area. On the first floor, customers will find a cinema, restaurants, a SPA parlour or hair salon, as well as retail shops. Other retailers will be located on the second floor. There will also be a large playground and restaurants on the roof.

METROPOLIS LIFESTYLE CENTER RENOVATION Metropolis Lifestyle Center will change its name to Shops at Perry Crossing and undergo a major makeover that will cost $11 million. The renovation is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. The mall will remain open during reconstruction. Shops at Perry Crossing will have new restaurants, additional parking space and improved, more environmentally friendly lighting. The new mall will offer exciting and engaging gathering areas to attract tourists as an entertainment destination. Photo:




AN AQUARIUM AT A MUSCAT SHOPPING CENTRE An enormous aquarium will be built into a new shopping centre in Muscat, Oman. The attraction will cost nearly $20 million. The investment is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of 2016. The aquarium will span over the area of 5000 sq m. Visitors will have a chance to observe up close the most interesting species inhabiting the nearby waters. The shopping centre will offer its customers special walking tours through the aquarium. Visitors will spend an average of two hours enjoying the aquarium, during which time they will be able not only observe the aquarium inhabitants up close but will also have a chance to learn many interesting facts about the life of these animals from the aquarium guide. Photo:



Challenging the fundamentals of retail PART OF THE




Photo: King of Prussia Mall

Much has changed since the opening of THE KING OF PRUSSIA MALL in 1963. Today, it is one of the biggest and most popular shopping centres in the United States. With over 400 tenants and over 20 m visitors a year, the mall is really impressive. But that's not all there is. In 2016, the King of Prussia Mall will undergo another transformation

Interview with KATHY SMITH, King of Prussia Mall’s Director of Marketing & Business Development





The King of Prussia Mall was opened in 1963. How has it changed since the opening date?

amenities and other conveniences, we are prepared for that.

King of Prussia opened its doors in 1963 as a 725000 sq ft open air center anchored by two department stores and a grocer. Since then, the shopping mecca has undergone multiple expansions and now has 7 department stores and over 13000 parking spaces. Currently, the King of Prussia Mall is undergoing its eighth major renovation with a 170000 expansion that will unite the two main shopping areas of the property, The Court and Plaza, with an enclosed retail corridor. Once complete in the fall of 2016, the new corridor will offer 50 new luxury retail and upscale dining options along with floor-to-ceiling windows, soft seating lounges and device-charging stations, a concierge-level guest service center, and many more conveniences and amenities. A new, state-of-the-art parking garage with speed ramps, space location technology and valet service will connect directly to the expansion, providing close and convenient access to new shops and restaurants. It is our expectation that upon completion of the expansion project, the King of Prussia Mall will be a shopping and entertainment destination unlike any other on the East Coast.

You mentioned that the King of Prussia Mall is anchored by over 400 retail chains. What is your tenant selection strategy?

We seek to engage brands with attractive merchandise, distinctive brand identities and exciting shopping experiences that will attract a ranges of customers and position King of Prussia as a fresh, dynamic and modern place to shop. Popularity of our retailers ranges from Millennial favourites such as H&M, UGG Australia, Forever21 and Urban Outfitters, to true luxury brands such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Burberry. Having diverse casual and fine dining options is very important, as well, in that most customers enjoy a snack or a meal during their visit.

The sheer number and diversity of our retailers is our greatest asset

Today the King of Prussia Mall is already one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. What do you consider to be the greatest asset of your shopping centre?

The King of Prussia Mall is also known for its numerous and interesting events.


The sheer number and diversity of our retailers is our greatest asset. With more than 400 stores, restaurants and entertainment options, there is truly something for everyone. Additionally, we are home to several first-to-market, true luxury brands that cannot be found anywhere else in the region including Gucci, Hermes, Cartier, Saint Laurent Paris and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Throughout the year, the King of Prussia Mall serves host to several fashion-forward events including interesting collaborations with some of the top names in the fashion industry. In Spring 2015, we teamed up with Glamour Magazine and GQ to host LOOKBOOK Live, a two-day fashion event where shoppers were able to interact with style experts and top fashion bloggers, while enjoying style demonstrations, beauty stations and staged events. In July 2015, we collaborated with Refinery29, the largest independent style website in the U.S., to host Style Festival. The event transformed the mall into a festival-like setting with live entertainment from popular DJ’s and bands and

Unique offer is one of the reasons why the King of Prussia Mall is so popular.

It’s true. King of Prussia has approximately 20 million visitors per year and 25% of them come from outside the Philadelphia market. We anticipate that upon the completion of our 170000 expansion corridor and the addition of so many more exclusive, first-to-market retailers and signature restaurant offerings, the traffic will only increase. With the enhancements to access and parking, customer service





mixed local, independent boutiques with national retail brands, creating a new fashion hybrid that celebrates the power of personal style.

What kind of facilities do you offer to your customers?

about 122 000 likes

about 2 600 followers


The King of Prussia Mall offers a range of services and amenities to ensure our customers’ visits from near and far are enjoyable and convenient. Some of those services include currency exchange stations, free WiFi, soft seating and device charging areas. Two Guest Service centers offer shoppers the convenience of buying Visa and American Express gift cards, as well as numerous gift card options from local retailers, restaurants and service providers. Customers may also check their coats and packages, make dinner reservations, pick up a mall map and call a taxi. King of Prussia also offers a complimentary, mall-wide personal shopping service by appointment with a professional fashion stylist. For our eco-conscious shoppers, we have two Electric Vehicle charging stations on the property.

about 9 000 followers Data from: 10.08.2015

King of Prussia Mall

What is your communication strategy?

Our digital communication channels including our website and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are constantly updated to include the latest details on retailer sales, property events, exclusive promotions and more. We find the direct connection that social media provide to our customers and fans is an invaluable resource for us. We also engage customers via text and e-mail, often providing advance notice on new store announcements and special promotions. With the click of a button we can see what our shoppers are excited about, areas in which we can improve, and most importantly, make a real connection with them over a mutual love of shopping, fashion and of course, the King of Prussia Mall.

King of Prussia is one of United States’ most successful and productive malls and we anticipate that, with the completion of our 170000 sq ft expansion and the addition of 50 more popular and sought-after retailers and restaurants, the mall will continue to remain strong and grow. King of Prussia has been a part of the lives of its community for over 50 years and we look forward to continuing in that same capacity for the next 50 years. ☐


What can we wish you for the next years?




More than

400 stores Parking spaces

over 13 000 Visitors per year

20 million

Hunter Flagship by Checkland Kindleysides

Europe’s leading annual event for innovation and inspiration in RETAIL DESIGN, VISUAL MERCHANDISING, MARKETING & SHOPFITTING from around the world. Retail Design Expo is doubling in size and bringing even more inspiration, ideas and innovations.

“This is just what the retail design scene needs, a place to meet like-minded people and businesses to share everybody’s knowledge and challenge the norm! It was great to be able to attend seminars led by key figures within the industry and gain insight on where they see retail heading. I’m very much looking forward to 2016!”

Here is a sneak preview of the spectacular 2016 features: • •

• • •

250+ exhibitors – covering every aspect of store interiors and branding 70+ FREE conference and workshop sessions – with top retailers, marketers, designers and architects revealing new insights, innovations, trends and tips spread across 5 theatres Retail Digital Signage Expo – a dedicated new show located between RBTE and Retail Design Expo Designer Pavilion – housing cutting edge design consultancies and architects Trends experts on hand offering invaluable advice

Tony Beale, Retail Design Manager Lancôme, L’Oreal, UK

Don’t miss out! Free registration now open at Co-located with

Supported by



Interview with GIMMI BALDININI, the President of Baldinini




Photo: Baldinini

Over 100 years of tradition, high quality materials and unique design – the BALDININI brand is well known all around the world. Family tradition and passion for fashion are the foundations for the global success. The Italian style is recognized from Tokyo, trough Moscow to New York


Baldinini was established in 1910, at a time when many small artisan enterprises started flourishing around San Mauro Pascoli. I think that today handmade shoes are very unique and exclusive products. What in your opinion is the biggest asset of the Baldinini brand?

The Baldinini style stays close to the tastes of its audience yet never ignores provocation. Varied collections are rich in details, solid tradition with a hint of madness, femininity and energy. The brand identity was built step after step as a unique and non-replicable DNA

The biggest asset of our company is the capability of creating unforgettable shoe models for shapes, models and colours.

The power of Baldinini products is also in the high quality materials.

Photo: Baldinini

It’s true. We use the best available, avant-garde feeling and gentle natural finishing’s or special prints and detailed design accessories in metal of shining materials. Everything starts with the materials’ sculptural qualities combined with a sophisticated sense of colour. Materials are carefully selected also for accessories.

What is your biggest achievement so far?

I think that the moment, when I realized I had conquered such a big difficult market like Russia and that my brand was so widespread and well-known.

So what is your recipe for success?

Having a clear style profile and meantime keep on evolving and innovating.

Baldinini’s production unit employs over 250 highly skilled workers. How do you choose employees? For us one thing is very important – they have to love what they do and work with passion. Baldinini successfully crossed the fine dividing line between art and craft. A result achieved with the contribution of valuable master artisans and co-workers as well as many skilled hands. Today Baldinini makes hundreds of thousands of shoes each year, all of which are designed and made in Italy.

This Italian style reflect today’s and yesterday’s high-end fashion mood. How would you describe your current collections?

Our products posses an unmistakable touch of Italian style, originating from an inexhaustible passion for research, in a skilful fusion of yesterday’s memories and today’s trends

Our products posses an unmistakable touch of Italian style, originating from an inexhaustible passion for research, in a skilful fusion of yesterday’s memories and today’s trends.

Sparkling, dynamic, changing. Baldinini collections are a continuous burst of enthusiasm. But Baldinini products are not only shoes.

That’s right. The brand’s creative flair goes beyond footwear and leather accessories to embrace other articles to complete its design narrative. In addition to men’s and women’s outerwear, the Baldinini lifestyle also covers fashion eyewear, Swiss Made timewear and a line of women’s and men’s fragrances.


Photo: Baldinini




Baldinini brand history 1970 The baton was passed to Gimmi Baldinini, who represents the family’s third generation

The first important milestone; this year is fixed in the company memory as the year of the mule, a shoe that was a stunning success and is still remembered today because so many were made - 500 pairs a day, each one completely made by hand

The family Baldinini took its first steps in footwear, making bespoke shoes entirely by hand

Baldinini stores are located in the world’s top fashion cities. How do you select locations for new boutiques?

contacts and public relations. We consider the Milanese Montenapoleone Boutiques our flagship where from the brand message is transmitted in continuously new exciting way.

Our monobrand have to be in the best locations. My formula is to check them personally every time. For example The Ville Lumire and the French Riviera are among the cult places of couture where a Baldinini store could not fail to be. We are present in all the main metropolises, with a special focus on the cosmopolitan cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Baldinini’s range of footwear and accessories is sold through a wide network of world-class own-brand boutiques, not only in Europe. Which markets are in Baldinini interests today?

It’s interesting, because besides the Middle and Far East, Europe again. Currently in the world’s top fashion cities we have approximately 150 Baldinini stores, in this prestigious stores in Beijing and in Hong Kong. In the Middle East Baldinini is one of the selected names that from the very start opened new stores in these cities of the future, such as Dubai.

What distinguishes your boutiques from other stores?

The concept of our stores is of Italian design style, simple materials and elegant, light feeling. In order to effect creative, dynamic displays. With their intentionally dissimilar identities, these stores display a discrete conceptual approach and different products compared to Baldinini’s well-known own-brand stores.

But Baldinini’s products are available also in the online shop, for clients from all over the world.

One of the special places is Baldinini’s Milanese showroom – in a beautiful building, in the city world-famous shopping district.

We launched it around four years ago; and forecast see in this a growing trend.

Where can clients can look for current information about your brand?

The two-floor showroom is in Via Bigli, close to the Montenapoleone, Verri and San Babila boutiques. The ground floor of the dual-level store is devoted to the world of women. A glass lift takes visitors to the upper floor, reserved for male collections. It is reserved for international business, press


Through our boutiques and shop-windows, in leading fairs, on the web and in our centenary history documents like books and company profiles.



Photo: Baldinini



2011 Baldinini launches online store

Bag and watch photo:

2010 Opening a new showroom in Milan

Like Jewles

The 100-year-old company has built up a rich archive, catalogued and organised by the University of Bologna. It’s a really interesting project.

Jeweled sandals: brilliant rhinestones (f/w 08_09) and iridescent leathers (s/s 07); Below: decoration detail, original design by Gimmi Baldinini.

This means our roots and is for us an invaluable legacy for the future. Gimmi’s ambition towards a small yet significant company museum. The collection of materials and documents testifies to epoch-making changes. It comprises some 3000 pairs.

Company Profile Baldinini

What are the biggest challenges for retail chains and fashion houses today?

Gimmi’s ambition towards a small, yet significant company museum

The challenge is to continuously renew and refresh the offer with new ideas and innovation.

How in your opinion have consumer behaviours changed in the last years? Consumers have developed a stronger consciousness and want a wide range of proposals.

And what will be the new trends in the retail industry in the coming years?

I think that future strategies will be to support and complete the sales in shops with a good online e-shopping strategy. ☐






As with many cultural shifts, there are always those that buy in wholeheartedly to innovation – and those that resist it. The future of the shopping mall will be a harmonious paradox between effortless convenience, automated systems and digital touch points against analogue, intimate and convivial social gatherings. This new era of shopping will not be defined by consumers resisting or accepting change – but about its process of engaging the connected generation. Consumers do not work in silos. They will want every planned convenience paired with spontaneous conviviality – evoking a future of shopping that simultaneously offers many parallels rather than opposing ideas. Retailers will not be at a junction of different choices limited to choosing one route, but rather learn to weave together several roads, creating a truly omni-channel experience. TimeTrade’s 2015 report on the state of retail stated that 65% of shoppers prefer the physical store over online and mobile

Photo: Portland



Online and offline must complement each other to survive WWW.SHOPPINGMALLEXPERT.COM |



and 85% want to touch and feel products. Yet to hit the sweet spot retailers must blend a number of different formats together, picking and choosing the best customer experiences from a number of channels and creating spaces and environments where they can seamlessly work together. Digital is key but only if done right. Customers have learnt the rules of shopping online, so why not give them those same processes in store? A great place to start is to examine the online-native brands who have made the transition to bricks-and-mortar – even those who famously stated that they would never do anything of the sort, such as Andy Dunn, CEO of menswear brand Bonobos. Bonobos have championed its ‘Guideshops’, stores whose only purpose is to help you try, touch, and feel the clothes guided by a personal stylist. Or subscription services such as Birchbox, continuing its platform of beauty discovery in store and alternatively, Harry’s, who instead opened its Corner Shop, a barber shop that uses Harry’s equipment. They marry the best aspects of online retail with the physical needs of offline to create truly holistic shopping experiences that compliment their brands. Imagine if these processes were taken to a much larger scale – that a shopping centre could provide subscription type services across its entire retail offer? Westfield’s Collect + lounge taps into the idea of the shopping centre as a single entity. Customers can order items from several retailers to the lounge and pick them up, try them and even return them within the lounge. Thinking about the shopping mall as an entire entity rather than a host of different retailers and brands is the key to bringing discovery, convenience and ultimately – an enjoyable shopping experience to the consumer. The idea of the anti-mall, or ‘unstore’ is one that the next generation of consumers will begin to view shopping centres as a hub of sociality, removing purchasing pressure and instead creating revenue that filters through different channels. Stores may instead become animated marketing ventures, showcasing their brand essence and therefore leaving transactional requirements to the systems that do it best – online and mobile. Let’s do away with point of sales and create more points of engagement.

IBRAHIM IBRAHIM Ibrahim is the Managing Director and owner of Portland – With offices in London, Istanbul and Dubai, Portland is a leading international branding and retail design business. Ibrahim originally trained as an aeronautical engineer and is a post graduate of the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a regular speaker at conferences and a frequent contributor to journals and trade press. He writes a regular piece for The Economist “Management Thinking” blog. During his 26 years in design consultancy he has worked with clients globally including ADAC, Kraft Foods, Diageo, Dufry, Pernod Ricard, SSP, Caviar House, Le Pain Quotidien, CNN, Heathrow Airport, TfL, Bangalore Airport, Dubai Airport, Inter Ikea, ECE, Nakheel, Nuance, Cross Pens, Luxottica, Travelex, Arcadia, Sloggi, Petrobras. Ibrahim has two children and when he is not managing the ‘ideas fuelled’ environment at Portland he is normally with his family, mountain biking or managing a woodland.

Brand experience is inherently social, it’s built on ideas that people want to spend time with and that people want to share – John Viccars, Senior Strategist, RPM

These hubs of sociality are largely driven by new consumer typologies. We are seeing the


23 | SEPTEMBER 2015

emergence of a flat age society - where age becomes irrelevant and where shopping centres instead of targeting consumers by age group, will target them by interests. Seniors are getting involved in the same experiences as their grandchildren and children the same as their parents, creating a kidult culture amongst several age groups. But, the differences between these experiences are the content – driven by the promise of new sensations where consumers are collected together through similar interests. The shopping experience should be a social one, that customers want to spend time doing and most importantly, built on ideas that they want to share. Physical stores provide the ideal testing ground for new ideas because of the immediate reactions from consumers. Transient retail modes are good for these because they provide refreshment and encourage repeat visits through the promise of a new offering, event and experience each time. STORY, in NYC takes this model of refreshment and change and applies it to their entire retail offering. From concept to product, brands to the store interior, it changes itself entirely every 4-8 weeks based on a chosen theme. STORY takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store, - it is this rethinking and repurposing of formats that can change physical retail and propel it into the future. Space is also another element that can be rethought and repurposed. A great example of utilising underused space to attract and delight shoppers was the pre-opening of Kate Spade’s store in New Jersey. They used the barricades as more than just a projection for the opening of the new store by having iPads integrated into the barricades for shopping and style quizzes, whilst the square cut windows took a playful twist on the term ‘window shopping’. Other retailers have also used this approach such as eBay’s 24 hour shoppable windows or Cancer Research’s clever use of contactless technology on the outside of the storefront, allowing customers to tap and donate without even entering the store. The future of the shopping centre will be an exciting one. As long as shopping centres and retailers remember to consider the entire customer journey in all channels, that digital convenience serves to compliment the convivial, and that refreshment equals rhythm, pace and sociality, then we will see them become thriving communities and ultimately, learn to truly engage the connected generation. ☐



Interview with TALAL DHIYEBI, Chief Development Officer at ALDAR Properties




Photo: Aldar Properties

The Middle East is known for their unique and magnificent shopping centres. The creativity and courage of its developers has no limits. This should not be surprising, as from the very beginning, shopping centres in this region have been a meeting point where people gathered and socialised. As we can see on the example of the MALL AT WORLD TRADE CENTER ABU DHABI, not much has changed


The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi is a modern and popular shopping destination. What are the biggest advantages of this shopping center, which attract customers and tourists?

Shoppers, both residents and tourists, are drawn to The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi because, unlike other shopping malls, it is a historical destination. The Mall, among other buildings, on the site of World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (WTCAD) holds a special place in the capital’s history as the location of the Old Central Market. World Trade Center Abu Dhabi marks the contemporary revival of a historic district within the heart of the city as well as a landmark addition to the Abu Dhabi skyline. The Mall holds an impressive and eclectic range of F&B outlets, fashion outlets, entertainment venues and much more.

What guarantees success in today’s demanding retail world?

We believe in two main ingredients for success in today’s industry: quality and innovation. Since opening our doors in October of 2013, we have continued to offer new stores and experiences to customers. As a result, our shoppers appreciate and are attracted to our continued effort to uphold our standards, whether through the wide variety of retail outlets offered in both fashion, food and beverages or in the quality of our customer service. As evidence that our recipe is successful, earlier this year, we won the ‘Best Shopping Mall Award in Abu Dhabi’ by Ahlan! at their annual ceremony. The award is based on people’s choice, with residents casting 91,000 votes in total. The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi was identified as the best in its fields against new and strong contenders.

Trade Center Abu Dhabi, providing a green oasis tucked away from the busy city. During the winter season. the rooftop gardens are also a great place to host events and functions – we held our spring fashion show there last time.

What other attractions are waiting for clients and tourists in World Trade Center Abu Dhabi?

One of the great jewels in The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi is our Souk, taking its inspiration from the old Abu Dhabi souk, which was located in the same area. It is a contemporary interpretation of the traditional market with high-ceilings and Arabesque style décor, providing a vibrant and attractive retail environment for tourists and local residents alike. The Souk plays host to traditional artefacts, abayas, henna, spices, jewellery, Arabic perfumes, traditional clothing and accessories of all kinds. Tourists and residents are captivated by Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, standing at 382 metres, it is the tallest tower in Abu Dhabi being awarded 2015 Best Tall Building Award for the Middle

I suppose that The Mall at WTCAD is popular not only among residents.

It’s true. We welcome a large number of visitors to The Mall at WTCAD annually. We often see an increase in the number of visitors during weekends and peak tourist season in the UAE. The Mall at WTCAD not only attracts the attention of Abu Dhabi residents but also a broader range of tourists who visit the UAE. Many tourists visit The Mall as it is both a place of leisure and also history.

The interesting architecture of the building also attracts attention.

The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi was designed by world-renowned architects Foster & Partners, with state-of-the-art facilities and ultra-modern amenities. The shopping mall is a mix of Arabian architecture and modern design, with decorative Arabic wood panels both inside the Mall and on the exterior, a retractable roof to let in natural light and glorious rooftop gardens. In essence, the Mall is equipped with modern facilities but unlike other shopping malls in Abu Dhabi, pays homage to its Middle East heritage.

As you already mentioned one of the characteristic elements of The Mall at WTCAD are the terraces and rooftop gardens. It must be an ideal place for relaxation.

I completely agree. The shopping mall has 3000 sq m of terraces and rooftop gardens. They are a wonderful contrast to the concrete buildings that surround The Mall at World



The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi is a mix of Arabian architecture and modern design, with decorative Arabic wood panels both inside the Mall and on the exterior, a retractable roof to let in natural light and glorious rooftop gardens

25 | SEPTEMBER 2015

We belive in two main ingredients for success in today’s industry: qulity and innovation


e rop ar P : Ald Photo

East & Africa Region by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Another wonderful and convenient attraction for tourists at WTCAD is the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, which is attached to The Mall. The Courtyard by Marriott is designed with the needs of the modern day traveler in mind; the hotel’s 195 rooms offer a fine balance of indulgence and practicality. Steps away from the Courtyard by Marriott are the World Trade Center Offices, which are at the epicenter of business in Abu Dhabi. The offices have wonderful panoramic views of the city and are equipped with an innovative ventilated façade, coated to reflect infrared solar radiation.

s rtie

The Mall at WTC Abu Dhabi

What about the events?

We hosted World Music Day at the Mall in June, with gigs of both amateur and professional performers from around the globe. We collaborated with Alliance Francaise, Abu Dhabi, to host the ­10-hour long musical event to mark ‘La Fete des Musicians.’ This is just one of many events organized by The Mall at the World Trade Center Abu Dhabi. Entertainment is a priority at the mall, and this May kids and parents got the chance to see the toy world’s most collectable crazes up close and personally with The Trash Pack appearing on stage. We also make sure that we have one-of-akind promotions at The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, that will attract visitors of all ages. Earlier this year we partnered with Eithad Airways for one of the richest draws for Etihad Guest Miles in the region. In January we launched the ‘Shop, Scratch and Win’ for shoppers to win daily prizes as well as the Grand Raffle Draw of one million Etihad Guest Miles, to enjoy a dream vacation to anywhere on the Etihad Airways network. By providing such a unique retail experience, this major partnership adds to The Mall at WTCAD’s already dynamic offering for both residents and tourists alike. As part of Abu Dhabi Summer Season’s campaign, WTCAD offered customers the opportunity to win a Mercedes-Benz car by simply spending 200 AED in the mall in order to enter the raffle draw.  

How can you describe the tenant mix of your shopping mall?

to our many successes. We are pleased to host House of Fraser-UAE, the premium department store, which opened its first international flagship store outside of the UK and Ireland in The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi in 2013. The premium department store spans more than 10000 sq m over four floors of upbeat, contemporary design and includes an extensive lifestyle offering across womenswear, menswear, children’s wear, shoes, accessories, jewellery, homeware and beauty brands. In addition to of a variety of other international brands such as Karen Millen, Rodeo Drive, Escada Sport, M.Missoni, and many more. We are also pleased to host Novo Cinemas, which has the capacity to seat 1400 people. The cinema is fully equipped with E-kiosks to reduce the wait, while the seating inside is reminiscent of the Golden Age of cinema. Furthermore, another convenient tenant to the community at The Mall is Mediclinic, which offers a wide range of primary healthcare services including GP and Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Dentistry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, ENT, Ophthalmology, Physiotherapy and Dermatology. boutiques and dining outlets

All of our tenants are very important to the community in The Mall and contribute


8-screen cinema complex

3000 sq m

of terraces and rooftop gardens

Malls have to have a very strong online presence to allow people to experience the mall and browse before they arrive




Where can we look for current information about your shopping mall?

We always release news about activities and events being hosted at The Mall, but for any further information, you can find us at social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on our website.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges shopping malls face today?

We would prefer to call them opportunities (laugh). Today for example, malls have to have a very strong online presence to allow people to experience the mall and browse before they arrive. Buyer behavior consists of many steps and can begin with an online trigger often via social media, which ends with an in store purchase – we have to be an integral part of this journey. We also have to keep the mall fresh. Our team works very hard to innovate and be creative. At The Mall at the WTCAD, we ensure that there are activities and promotions for the whole family to enjoy throughout the year. Our aim is to make The Mall a space not purely for shopping but more of an entertainment destination for the community as a whole.

Aldar Properties has developed some of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic and complex projects. What do you consider your biggest achievements so far?


The Mall at WTCAD not only attracts the attention of Abu Dhabi residents, but also a broader range of tourists who visit the UAE. Many tourists visit The Mall as it is both a place of leisure and also history

Photo: Aldar Properties

One of the challenges is also sustainable development.

That’s right. Thinking green is a big part of our value system at The Mall at WTCAD. We feel it is important to set an example demonstrating energy conservation and environmental protection. Early this year we, along with many other landmarks, participated in Earth Hour, turning off our lights for one hour in an effort to raise awareness of energy conservation. We went a step further and held various educational and entertaining activities to bring the families in the communities together for this cause. This initiative was an interactive way to celebrate our commitment to working towards a more sustainable future for residents and visitors and leading the way for individuals to be inspired to play their own role.

Aldar Properties has been central to the growth and development of Abu Dhabi and continues to play a leading role in the development of the emirate. Aldar has created the most valued homes, offices and shopping malls; schools, hospitals and leisure facilities in the emirate and is a critical enabler to the growth of the UAE. Aldar has developed some of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic and complex projects, from Yas Mall and the Formula 1 facilities on Yas Island to the thriving new Shams Abu Dhabi community on Al Reem Island. Last year, The World Trade Center Abu Dhabi was proud to launch Burj Mohammed bin Rashid, the tallest tower in Abu Dhabi. The tower, which is part of the WTCAD, stands at 382 metres high, includes 474 residential units set on 92 floors. The Burj, named after His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is emerging as an iconic landmark in the Abu Dhabi skyline. Aldar is also focused on building superior homes for the growing population of Abu Dhabi. At Cityscape in April this year, Aldar announced that it would bring over 2000 new homes in prime areas of Abu Dhabi to market, including in investment zones where property can be purchased by non-UAE nationals. The three developments include West Yas, a Yas Island villa product for Emiratis; Mayan, an investment zone residential development that offers beach front apartments, town houses and villas on Yas Island; and Meera, a mid-market apartments on the popular Shams Abu Dhabi on Al Reem Island. These three projects will significantly enhance the existing offerings on Yas Island and Reem Island to benefit those communities.

As an expert, how would you describe the mall market in the Middle East region?

28 000 likes

We would say the mall is a critical part of everyday life. From its very inception – when it was known as the souk – the mall has been a pivotal place for people to gather, meet, work, shop and play. Today it is no different. In the region, a day at the mall can be a very family-oriented activity, so you will notice that, especially within the Aldar retail portfolio, there is always a wide variety of engaging activities for families to take part in. It’s also a place for individuals so malls must be able to cater for both. The mall market in the GCC is also very competitive and consumers benefit from a wide variety of choice as malls work hard to offer the best stores and events to attract customers. A key characteristic of a successful mall is its ability to be agile and responsive to customer needs; consistently bringing fresh ideas, brands and promotions to excite and satisfy customers. ☐

more than 5 500 followers

more than 7 200 followers Data from: 10.08.2015


27 | SEPTEMBER 2015



Graphic: Fotolia/ bloomua





Changing consumer trends over recent years, driven by increasingly busy lifestyles, have fuelled a growth in demand for mobile technology that allows work and social activities to be undertaken ‘on-the-go’. Smartphones and tablets have become more commonplace gadgets as manufacturer competition and technological advances have lowered price points and driven uptake, resulting in their status as essential life tools. This trend is supported by the declining market for less portable or single function technologies such as desktop computers and satnavs, which are not capable of easily adapting to the changing social climate focused on convenience and mobility


earable technology, which is here defined as smartwatches and fitness bands, is the newest development that seeks to satisfy this demand, giving the consumer a sense of being ‘always connected’. With a market value of £66m in the UK for 2014 and a growing breadth of devices on offer from a number of different brands, this developing category provides a substantial base for expansion. There are currently a number of wearable technology products on offer, such as Fitbit and Jawbone fitness bands and multifunctional smartwatches from brands such as Sony, LG and Motorola – all of which have entered the market following Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch launch in 2013, transforming the initial penetration of the technology into a mass market trend. Pricing ranges from value-end models such as the Cogito smartwatch, retailing at around £80, to the premium end of the market held by Apple, which is marketing its ‘Edition’ smartwatch range for between £8,000 and £13,500. Indeed, the competition initiated by global brands – such as the Chinese brand Xiaomi, which is selling its ‘miband’ fitness band for under £10 and the Taiwanese brand Hannspree, marketing its model of the My First Smartwatch at £30 – is likely to open up a value battle among key players, driving prices downwards as volumes increase.

uptake of a product. For example, following the regeneration developments on Regents Street, London, the introduction of iBeacon technology to various stores, including Hamley’s and Longchamp, enables a direct connection between the individual shopper’s smartphone and the retailer in the form of push notifications. These are sent to the customer’s device, advising them of relevant offers or promotions in conjunction with their shopping history data and their geographical location. The development of the wearable technology sector has the potential to further enhance the link between the customer and the retailer, as a vibration notification on the wrist will be impossible to miss. Looking forward, the launch of the Apple Watch in April 2015 is likely to galvanise the interest in wearable technology, given its unfalteringly strong brand perception and the wide range of models that it is offering. This is reflected in recent research by Conlumino, which expects the growth of the wearable technology sector in the UK to reach +98% over 2015 as one of the biggest global technology brands enters the market and wearable technology departments begin to pop up in store and online at many of the UK’s key retailers, such as John Lewis and Curry’s PC World. With 2.4% of UK consumers having bought a fitness

New opportunities...


The opportunities that arise for retailers as a result of this development in wearable technology are therefore twofold, in terms of customer targeting and driving incremental sales revenue. Firstly, the increasing dependency of society on technology has provided retailers with a uniform platform from which to target their customers on a more personal and comprehensive basis. The use of shopping apps, such as Tesco Grocery, which facilitates placing or updating a grocery order online, and the John Lewis app, which offers shopping functionality alongside the ability to file a price match claim or access buying history, has contributed to a market that encourages 24 hour shopping. Moreover, the interaction between the customer and the retailer is being constantly refined, with a driving motive of tailoring to consumer needs on a personal level to encourage the


of UK consumers having bought a fitness band or smartwatch last year

£66 mln the market value of wearable technology in the UK for 2014

29 | SEPTEMBER 2015


band or smartwatch last year, there is considerable scope for growth, particularly as tablet market saturation frees up consumer spend.


...and new challenges

is expected to be the biggest year so far for smartwatches and fitness bands

However, the element of fashion that is undeniably linked to the development of this area of the technology sector represents potential challenges to retailers. Wearable technology, specifically smartwatches, marks the first hybrid of a technological device and a portable accessory, therefore the need to conform to contemporary fashion trends is a prerequisite for any product aiming to be a serious competitor in the market. Retailers will also have to stock a broad range of product designs in order to satisfy the wide variety of consumer tastes, whereas the strong personal aspect associated with wearable technology, essentially an indication of personal style, will mean that the display and presentation of products will be of equal importance to that of fashion brands. This has been embraced by Apple, which has been displaying the Apple Watch in showcases similar to jewellery displays, playing on the developing link between technology and the fashion sector in a bid to target a wider range of consumer preferences. Another challenge for retailers wishing to capitalise on the potentially lucrative wearable technology sector is the necessity of a smartphone to function in collaboration with wearable technology. The higher-end fitness bands, such as the Fitbit Charge HR, which provides activity data as well as tracking heart rate, rely on smartphones or computers to present meaningful statistics to the consumer. Equally, smartwatches are not entirely standalone devices, rather acting as a convenient ‘in-between’ for the individual and their smartphone. Therefore, retailers without experience or expertise in the smartphone or technology sectors are limited in terms of their capacity to market wearable technologies, or at least risk being caught on the back foot in comparison with their tech-savvy competitors. However, informative buying guides and expertly trained staff can provide a means to overcoming this barrier, meaning that both in-store and online range curation will be key to converting sales. As the tablet market reaches saturation, retailers will be hoping that this latest form of technological innovation will provide a welcome boost to their sales performance. With Conlumino’s consumer research indicating that many purchases are being made on impulse, there is evidence of a ‘must-have’ nature to the product category – which could prove lucrative, as 2015 is expected to be the biggest year so far for smartwatches and fitness bands. ☐


Source: Conlumino

Dido TETLEY is a placement analyst at Conlumino focusing on fashion trends across international markets.

Sophie McCARTHY Sophie McCarthy is a retail consultant at Conlumino with a background in buying across the supermarket and department store channels. Her research specialises in homewares and consumer electricals



Source: Conlumino

2nd Annual Future Retail Strategies 9th-10th September 2015, Congress 2015

London, UK

Registration is now OPEN for the 2nd annual Conlumino Future Retail Strategies Congress! Arena International is excited to announce that following the successful launch of the Conlumino Future Retail Strategies Congress in 2014, the event will be returning to London this September. Registration is now open for you to secure you place to hear from industry leaders on how retailers can better harness innovative technologies in order to provide a seamless, consistent, personalised customer experience – the biggest issue to all retailers. This event will bring retailers from across the UK to learn from the leaders in retail, to provide an exclusive opportunity for key decision makers in retail to keep up to date, be inspired and benchmark their strategies. KEY TOPICS ON THE 2015 AGENDA INCLUDE: 

Future of retail – Achieving the holy grail of

a customer-centric, omnichannel view 

Yes omnichannel is here, but how do you

ensure brand consistency across all channels? 

Case Study: PetPyjamas Customer Service

Beacons – new fad or here to stay?

Panel: Reaching a tipping point for

payments – is the future cashless?


Jon Owen – Retail brands director, SHOP DIRECT

Julian Baker – Cross Channel Marketing Director, WHITE STUFF

Gracia Amico – CEO, PETPYJAMAS

Sarah Baillie – Head of multichannel business development, HOUSE OF FRASER

Kester Dobson – Head of Technology, HARRIS+HOOLE

Visit our website and book your place today using reference code MK-SRAD To find out more please contact:




Shopping centre in a tanker? Today it sounds incredible but within the next few years this fantasy can become true. THE BLACK GOLD is a unique project devoted to the transformation of a mega-ship into a multi-functional facility. Shops, luxury hotel rooms, restaurants, a conference centre, SPA... All in a unique scenery and extraordinary atmosphere Interview with CHRIS COLLARIS, architect and owner of Chris Collaris Design

Courtesy of Bowie Verschuren




The Black Gold project is a completely unique idea, widely commented in the world of architecture. What was your inspiration to create such an unusual concept?

Well, it started with a discussion in our design team, after seeing so many ‘iconic’ pretentious buildings and building designs for the Southern Gulf Region on design blogs. The first question that came up in our minds was: what is it that there is this big need or search for contemporary iconic buildings in this area of the world, and what makes a built structure “iconic”? One thing we know for sure: wealth, power and cultural enlightenment have come to this region because of it’s oil history. But that oil history (or current status) can only be seen on big seas and big harbours. Why not really embed it visible in your built culture and society? It’s so powerful and breathtaking to have this mega structure at a long beach working as a real functional building. Another interesting point we think is to re-use the mega oil tanker as an icon for the future, referring to the time without oil. ↓

of museums and cultural buildings. It shows these states are preparing for a new future, and that is something really good and interesting. And we are proposing a highly multifunctional structure which can provide a very wide range of services to help with defining that future in a breathtaking way.

It’s interesting how one place can combine many different functions.

It’s true, but first of all we have the re-use of the existing mega oil tanker. We want to use a vessel which has been used before in transport of crude oil. This structure will be cleaned completely. The renovation will turn the structure into a big size building with spaces for museums (oil history), theatres and a concert hall (which can also be used as a conference centre), short term stay (think of a 6-star-rated-hotel), inside

The Black Gold project explores a new sustainable potential of a discarded mega oil tanker ship, which can be seen as the perfect icon representing the geographic, economic and cultural history of the Arabic oil states

Only by completely changing its function and position, this could be a surprisingly good structure to address and accommodate new interests of the Arab states (think of culture, sports, leisure and tourism) and still make the connection with its own history and present state.

One thing we know for sure: wealth, power and cultural enlightenment have come to this region because of it’s oil history

What in your opinion is the biggest asset of this project?

The biggest asset of the project is the idea itself. As soon as people in the Southern Gulf Region embrace the idea of this remarkable icon and recognise it’s cultural connection, it’s possible value can even become bigger than ever thought before. We have proposed the concept idea as an icon of young history and a present super status, but also as an icon on the transitional future. It’s a contemporary icon about re-invention. Think about Qatar with the World Cup coming up, or Abu Dhabi with its enormous increase


33 | SEPTEMBER 2015



and outside pools, leisure, a shopping village with all the key brands in luxury, exclusive bars and clubs, but also a on-deck boulevard to watch the sunset and iconic city landscapes of the cities in the region. Personally, we think the road towards the vessel and the entrance are going to be the defining parts which will make an ultimate experience of the journey towards the vessel. Imagine driving on that road towards the mega structure, entering the vessel in its heart, with a swimming pool and glass on a height of 40 metres above your head. A theatre cluster on the left hand and a golden entrance towards the 6-star-hotel lobby on the right hand. It will be a vessel you haven’t experienced before... ever!

I suppose that re-use of the oil tanker must be a big challenge.

The dismantling and cleaning of parts which will not be used in the ship anymore would be the biggest part during construction. And when in its new future functionality the climate control would take the biggest attention, because it should not only be a spectacular place to be, but also a very pleasant place to stay.

How would your spectacular vision interact with local, Arabic architecture?

We think the concept idea of this re-used oil tanker is something completely different from the new contemporary iconic buildings in the region. It comes with a history in economics but also culture perspective, although very modern and young history. It’s not easy to connect this history to the older local Arabic architecture. So we see it as a new chapter in the overall architectural history of the region, but it comes with deep economic and cultural roots related to the Arabic States and their position in the world.

Today we are talking a lot about environmental protection, in the terms of recycling, ecological solutions etc. Do you think that renovation and conversion of different objects, buildings etc. can also be eco-friendly?

Yes, renovation and conversion of different objects and buildings can be done in an eco-friendly, but we have to realize it takes much more precision, time and money. Regarding the oil tanker we like to think in a different way of reusing materials. It is interesting to consider what to do with what you already have, then breaking it down. Further, the impact on the environment will be reduced to the minimum. The elements that can not be re-used in a responsible way will be removed and broken down in such a way that the negative impact on the environment wiell be as much as possible limited. Here, too, is a possibility of re-use of waste materials.


podpis 200



Think about Qatar with the World Cup coming up, or Abu Dhabi with its enormous increase of museums and cultural buildings. It shows these states are preparing for a new future

For the renovation of the ship only certified sustainable materials will be used. The energy needs of this mega-structure we want to solve in the most sustainable way possible. The double wall of the tanker will be used to achieve a sustainable climate with high insulation values. In this double wall construction there is the opportunity to place shafts where we can bring co2 gases from the cars of the lowest decks upwards where co2 is interrupted by greenhouses. These greenhouses can by means of a bio-digester, supply the raw material for high-quality energy. And the environmental conditions of the place itself can be used optimally in the energy household of the mega tanker. On the deck there is enough space for solar energy and the surrounding sea water can also be used for cooling of various spaces in the vessel.

Many investors complain, that in the centres of large cities there is no more space for new investments. Do you think that adaptations of old buildings/objects can solve this problem?

First of all, I think that there is no need for complaining investors (laugh). The lack of space could be very interesting and helpful to make investors realise they have to come up with better overall plans than intensifying the common areas. Look at a place like London. The fact that it is such a big magnet on people who want to work, live, shop and spent time in the city, makes not only the central parts of the city interesting. There are much more nice areas outside the city centre with very good


35 | SEPTEMBER 2015


may be combined. A museum that is dedicated to the cultural heritage: oil. A hotel with sea cabins and master sea suites on top. A shopping center, where brands have the opportunity to present themselves in a special way. But also a conference center with the ability to take off the whole boat for a weekend for a special summit where all kind of countries are invited. We see it that for us that the next International Convention will be signed here. The tanker will have to flourish as a new icon of the Southern Gulf Region.

retail potential. And London is example that city life can grow and expand beyond the boundaries of a geographical ‘city centre’. Most of the really nice shop concepts can be found in the areas around or far away from the centre. Also, the rapidly evolving technological devices like google maps and other routing software or smart apps with shopping tips for smart phones make it easy for people to walk and explore outside the well-know and traditional centres. The other question which arises: how many physical shops do we need? How big should a store be to have this ultimate brand or shopping experience? Investors should think much more about the blend or mix between digital and physical shopping. The outcome will be much more surprising than complaining about precious inner city retail space. And yes, adaptations of old buildings/objects can be a good plan to update or improve city areas like the centre. But that could also be done in areas which are not the exact centre of  a city.

Budgets, requirements of developers, environmental regulations – what is the biggest limitation for you when you create a new project?

Actually, none of them are a limitation in a negative meaning of the word itself. We design houses for 2 million euros but we are also able to design them with a budget of 200 000 euros. For both of the house types we are able to make something that really makes sense. And always with the biggest respect to its surroundings. Meeting the requirements of developers or clients can be a difficult assignment, but when you have a very good and professional client this can bring the level of a project to the max.

Some examples?

A very good example of a nice adaptation of an old building structure into shops and offices is Im Viadukt or Unter den Bogen in Zürich by EM2N. An old train bridge structure is used for shop insertions below. Another impressive and uncommon example of a nice adaptation of an old building structure into shops is renovation of an old church into a book store in the south of the Netherlands. Never bought a book in a more intense and sacral way as in the bookshop Dominicanen Maastricht.

What are the most interesting and impressive shopping centres and shops in the world in your opinion? Digital shopping centres like and Bol. com. If only these companies found a good blend with actual physical shopping places into our cities, and if there is a need for, I think it’s possible to make a new definition of “shopping”. Harrods, the classic definition of a “shopping house”. Style and reputation which never goes out of date, although its character is getting more towards a museum where you can buy present things. Conservatorium Hotel shopping centre in Amsterdam: a perfect

What kind of functions can projects such as Black Gold fulfil?

The oil tanker will house multiple facilities. The format is designed that in such a way multiple facets




renovation of a former music school in the museum heart of Amsterdam. The Prada shops (Epicenters) in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Because they are so well designed by Herzog and de Meuron and OMA. Actually, they feel like the luxury shop of the future. Everything you see and touch is special. It is just the ultimate experience of a shop in an architectural way. And a recent favourite: The Valentino flagship store in New York. This is art by a grand master David Chipperfield.

All images are courtesy of Chris Collaris, Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker and Patrick van der Gronde

You said that Black Gold is aproject of the future. What trends can be important for shopping malls in coming years?

We think the biggest future for shopping will be the perfect blend between digital and real life shopping. People want quality to touch, smell. They want to feel the things they are interested in buying. But then there could be learned so much from the digital shopping, with the impressive speed of save handling. Now we see these two ways of shopping as something different or separate. But what if we come up with a system or idea which can be both? The next phenomena related to the blend of digital and physical shopping is the Pop-up store. To us it is a really interesting way of organising a store into the city (or the country, think of the farmers who make up simple shops for selling in different seasons) with just exact amount of what you need, nothing more, nothing less. It can be used as a highly effective “real” place in the world to meet the people who buy your things and share the experience. But think about the crazy big potential of an enormous digital backbone. A good example of this kind of shopping idea is Coureur du Monde. Although the product they sell is relatively simple, classic cycling shirts. But the founders of this concept always succeed to make a new special

The clear structure of storage tanks within the oil tanker ship volume creates possibilities for adaptation of new inside functional uses. The renovation will turn the structure into a big size building with spaces for museums, theatres and concert hall, short term stay, inside and outside pools, leisure, a shopping village, exclusive bars and clubs, but also a on deck boulevard

We see The Black Gold as a new chapter in the overall architectural history of the region, but it comes with deep economic and cultural roots related to the Arabic States and their position in the world

pop-up store with special things to see, experience and actually do. You get the impression or feeling that you are part of that world presented in the pop-up store. This world is connected again to the digital world with a website. You could find yourself on this website again doing a bike test or drinking a nice beer with friends or something at that earlier event. And of course all the shirts, the major product, can be bought online.

What are your future plans? How can Chris Collaris Design can surprise us again?

For now we are working hard on private houses for different private clients. This ranges from ultra-sustainable city house renovations towards highly energy efficient budget solutions on building systems used in medium size free standing homes. This means living in a house with all the comfort, but with using 100% own sustainable energy. At the moment we are designing passive houses which are floating in the canals of Amsterdam. All the new projects are in a completely different scale than the oil tanker project, but not less interesting in their design, meaning and function. And the good thing is: these houses have been completed this year or will be completed next year. This means hands-on for us when making our practice in architecture. The next international “surprise” we have set at the start of October 2015. But we can’t say what it will be, because otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore (laugh). ☐


37 | SEPTEMBER 2015

Photo: Magdus


Photo: Magdus

↑ Designer Outlet Neumunster in Germany ↓ Designer Outlet Roermond in Netherlands

Rosada Fashion Outlet in Netherlands


Photo: Magdus

The development of outlet centres is a retail phenomenon which started thirty years ago in Europe. These shopping malls of a new type are highly attractive because they promise great “bargains” to customers. They have become attractive shopping destinations. Gradually, these shopping centres are strengthening their identity and retail concept as tourist destinations with success. But 2014 has been the quietest year for new outlet centres in Europe since 1996. So what is the future for outlet centres going to be like? Does the outlet market still have growth forecasts in Europe or is its saturation coming? And what are the new trends and the stakes for the outlet market and its players? 38


Which forecasts?

A niche in the European retail sector

Factory outlet retailing has long been considered as a marginal retail concept until it gradually became an established modern distribution channel, thanks Factory Outlet Centres imported from the United States. Born in the United States in the 1970s, this concept appeared in France in the early 1980s, then in Great Britain in the early 1990s, before being exported to other European countries since the middle of the 1990s onwards. These specialized shopping malls are made up of outlet stores selling their goods which are unmarketable on the traditional market (stocks from previous seasons, defective and end-of-line products, etc.) at discounts between 30% and 70%. In Europe, this new retail channel still remains underestimated despite its strong development since the early 2000s. To begin with, Factory Outlet Centres consisted only in selling unsold articles, but the retail concept has dramatically evolved since the mid-1990s. The progressive orientation of the concept towards “fun shopping” and the “shopping experience” offered to customers has considerably strengthened the tourist dimension of these centres. The concept of Factory Outlet Centres spread on a European scale in several “stages”, depending on the geographical areas. The concept appeared in France in the early 1980s, then in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s. It started spreading eastwards from 1995 on and reached Southern Europe in 1997, with the opening of the first Spanish FOC. The year 1998 marked an expansion of the concept in Northern Europe (Sweden) and its continuing development in the Mediterranean area (Greece). The year 2001 was marked by a consolidation of the concept in Northern and Southern Europe. Since 2002, outlet centres have extended to Eastern Europe. The European market is currently dominated by five countries: the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany, which is one of the most dynamic markets over the past 5 years. The major part of the market is divided between 5 leaders, like McArthurGlen, Neinver, Realm, Concepts & Distribution and Value Retail. Except for Realm, all these developers are specialized in outlet centres only. By July 2015, more than 200 outlet centres are opened in Europe with a variety of sizes (from less than 5000 sq m to 50 000 sq m), formats (warehouses, “villages”), price positions (midscale to luxury centres) and locations. The European outlet market is representing a global sales area of approximately 3,5 mln sq m. Despite a strong development, outlet centres are still considered as a niche in the European retail sector. One hundred outlet projects are known in Europe but a large part of them has been delayed or cancelled due to the economic crisis. And 2014 has been the quietest year for new outlet centres in Europe since 1996. So what is the future for outlet centres going to be like? Is the saturation coming for the European outlet market?


While there were fewer new developments last year, the outlet market will benefit from strong growth tracks in the next two years. The European market is not saturated yet, a lot of new opportunities are coming. Indeed, the major European outlet developers are still working on new schemes like McArthurGlen (eg Miramas in France) and Neinver (eg Viladecans in Spain). Some developers, like the McArthurGlen group, are also focused on extensions to numerous existing centres (Ashord in the UK for instance). So there are still opportunities for historic markets like in France, the UK and Spain, in particular in some under developed territories. Other development activities are focused in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe. New markets will come soon. For instance Turkey, which is targeted by the McArthurGlen group with two projects in this country. Some cancelled or delayed outlet projects have been relaunched recently, which attest how promising and healthy the European outlet market is. According to outlet experts, there is a theoretical scope for further development of 50 to 75 new outlet centres across Europe. However, there are increasingly marginal strong opportunities, in particular regarding the numerous extensions of some of the most attractive schemes in Europe. New retail players (developers, investors, retailers, service providers) have entered the outlet market recently. Internationalisation remains an under-exploited opportunity, in particular for retailers. The future success of the outlet centres is strongly based on retailers who are already present in the outlet industry but also on those who change their mind on this still again underestimated sector and who are recently entering it. L’Oréal – which is a new player in the outlet industry – has opened 14 stores in Western Europe since its first outlet store opened in 2013 in Italy. It is interesting to notice that its outlet strategy has been made to avoid destroying obsolete beauty products. The strong performances recorded for the outlet market show that this retail concept is one of the most popular retail channel in Europe. Many outlet centres successfully attract large numbers of tourist visitors thanks attractive international offers and pleasant shopping experiences. The most attractive schemes benefit from 60% or more of international tourist visitors (like Bicester Village in England, La Vallée Village in France). These shoppers spend from 3 to 10 times as much per visit as the local customers. Regarding the growing attractivenes of these centres, the rising turnover of the European outlet market, the saturation has not been reached yet. Of course, some old outlet schemes could


new outlet centres – there is a theoretical scope for further development across Europe

39 | SEPTEMBER 2015


By July 2015, more than 200 outlet centres are opened in Europe with variety of sizes, formats, price positions and locations. The European outlet market is representing a global sales area of approx. 3,5 mln sq m. The market is dominated by 5 countries: the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany. The future of the European outlet market seems promising for all the outlet players Photos: Magdus

Rosada Fashion Outlet in Netherlands

suffer from the recession and/or the competition of better attractive outlet schemes. That is why their managers must embellish theses schemes, reinvent their offer, improve the services and shopping experience dedicated to customers, use digital media to promote themselves and to fit to the new customers expectations. Some managers succeed to reinvent their scheme to keep their historic customers and to gain new ones.

The future seems promising

In Europe, outlet centres are an unfailing success and the retail concept has excellent growth prospects in Europe. The consolidation of older markets and older centres and the emergence of new markets and new schemes offer undeniable growth developments. The keys for good outlet centre performances are a strong attractive brand offer (appropriate to local consumers and tourists), a highly accessible site (ideally close to a motorway junction) and a large and convenient parking lot, a large (ideally affluent) catchment population, a strong local tourism offer, a limited outlet competition, good architecture and design (attractive for customers and retailers), nearby complementary activities (leisure) and a strong outlet operator. The future of this concept is all the more promising in a gloomy economic context, since the centres constitute “fallback values” for consumers and provide exciting shopping experience as well to relax and escape the ordinary. The future of the European outlet market seems promising for all the outlet players (developpers, investors, retailers, service providers). Nevertheless, they will have pay attention to some recent changes or changes to come, like law reforms for instance in France where the last 12 months experienced the adoption of several laws that make major changes in business licence requirements and business lease. These changes will have a major impact on outlet projects, especially on budget buildings. Moreover, if the success of European outlet centres is significant, its players will have to pay attention to the risk of banalisation of the concept, because the success of these centres rests also on their scarcity. Besides, brands at discount prices are and will always remain the basis of the success of the outlet centres, as well as the loyalty of their customers who want bargains and also great shopping experiences. ☐


Marques Avenue A13 in France

Dr. Caroline LAMY

Photo: Magdus

CEO and Founder Magdus, the European Factory Outlet Centres Observatory/CL Outlet Consulting company, France



Director of Magdus and the CL Outlet Consulting company, Dr Caroline Lamy benefits from a unique expertise about the European outlet sector. Since 2007, she has been the resident expert at Magdus which is the European Outlet Centres Observatory established in 2004. She has been working in the outlet sector for the past 12 years during which time she has published numerous articles in French and in English about its evolution and development. Her PhD in Geography, Spatial Planning & Urbanism at the University of Western Brittany is titled ”Outlet centres: new aspects of the retail concept, new locations, new territorial stakes“ (published in French).

Free Registration now open

BE THE FUTURE OF RETAILING At RBTE, Europe’s largest retail event, you will find out how to boost sales, reduce costs, improve margins and enhance customer engagement.

RBTE IS YOUR EVENT! Bootcamps | Dedicated Retailer Payments Theatre Innovation Trail | eCommerce Quarter & eCommerce Theatre Extensive Networking | Over 325 Exhibitors | FREE conference programme featuring leading international retailers ALL UNDER ONE ROOF

“RBTE - great show with great content. Went to source new and exciting technology and wasn’t disappointed. Always a must in my diary and will definitely be there next year!” Jonathan Rons, Operations, Metro Retail Franchise

“This is our third visit to RBTE and it gets better every year! I found the seminars extremely well presented, very busy and very informative.” Edouard Iwaniec, CIO, Romania Hypermarche

9 – 10th March 2016 Olympia Grand, London | +44 (0) 208 874 2728


Photo: KidzMondo’s Photography department






Thinking GLOBALLY, acting LOCALLY KIDZMONDO is more than just a theme park for kids. It is a children's world where everyone can be whoever they want to be. With over 80 installations and 120 activities, kids can experience every detail of an adult life, all in a safe and educational environment Interview with ALI KAZMA, chairman of Kidz Holding

Today KidzMondo is a well-known commercial network of theme parks for children. What were the beginnings of your company?

It all started with my dream – I wanted to increase the number of opportunities for children entertainment starting with Lebanon and expanding to the world. The name of the brand means “world for kids”.

In June the company celebrated its second birthday. How has the brand changed over this 2 years?

After this 2 years I can say that KidzMondo has created a concept designed to meet a growing need to combine education with entertainment. From its first location on the Beirut Waterfront in Lebanon, the brand has been actively growing our global reach, engaging with investors and entrepreneurs in many countries globally. So far, KidzMondo


has awarded franchise licence in Turkey – Istanbul where our brand is operating successfully, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, while other territories are under negotiation.

One of the main assets of KidzMondo is a unique concept. How would you describe it? KidzMondo is a global concept indoor theme park following the conceptual approach of playful learning. It is an ideal forum, where social rules and values are promoted and ingrained in children to prepare them to behave as good adult citizens would in real life.

So an important feature of KidzMondo is the pedagogical mission? Exactly. At KidzMondo we implement a 4-leg pedagogical

43 | SEPTEMBER 2015


They say that children are the most demanding customers. Do you agree with this?

approach developed in collaboration with LAU (Lebanese American University) that promote: Cognitive development, Emotional Development, Psychomotor development and Social Development. In addition, all the activities offered evolve around the notion of Role Play which enhances and encourages learning.

Children are very demanding customers, but they are also very faithful when they fall in love with a brand. At KidzMondo, we provide the children with a fully immersive experience stimulating all of their senses. We aim to provide memorable events and engagement points to generate a deeper connection and emotional bond with the children leading to a deeper involvement.

One of the most important things for many parents is the safety of their children. How do you ensure the safety of children playing in KidzMondo parks?

One of the characteristics of your brand are KidzMondo characters – Dogzilla, Kozmo, Ëena and Leeloo.

We have surrounded ourselves with the best in class collaborators and associations to assure premium class education, entertainment and safety. First, KidzMondo has been part of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) since 2011. IAAPA assists its members in many fields, one of them being the implementation of safety standards. Second, the children are led by a highly qualified team of educators trained in Kidproof standards and protocols. Kidproof being the most trusted name in child safety worldwide. Finally, every child entering the city has a RFID security bracelet consisting of a wireless technology that uses radio frequencies to identify and track the kids inside the city.


Yes, KidzMondo created four characters: Kozmo, the adventurous, Ëena, the thinker, Dogzilla, their protector and Leeloo their wise pet. These characters represent the ideals which are the basis of the KidzMondo nation. They are the “Rights’ keepers” of KidzMondo’s most important rights; to Be, to Know, to Care, and to Play. Each character has its own personality and characteristics which makes them easily recognizable and lovable.

In KidzMondo children can be whoever they want. What kind of establishments are the most popular?

We provide children activities that promote Role play. Our




most popular establishments include MEA Flight simulation, Fire department, MTV studio, Gas Station, Beauty parlour, Bank Audi, Burger King and many others.


What is the age range of the children to whom your offer is addressed? We cater for kids from to 2 to 14 years old.


Today KidzMondo is present in ten different countries. Do you see differences in consumer preferences in different places?


Well, KidzMondo is a global brand that has learned to adapt to every market’s culture and preferences. We believe in Thinking globally but Acting locally.



Where we can look for current information about your brand?

You can look for information about the brand on our website and through our social media contact points, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.


Which of these channels of communication with clients are the most important to you?

KidzMondo is very active on Social media and encourages the interaction that it provides. We also rely on direct and personal contact with our clients when they are in our parks without forgetting the traditional means of communication like TV, Radio or Outdoor.

All photos: KidzMondo’s Photography department


45 | SEPTEMBER 2015


about 86 000 likes

about 5 400 followers

about 900 followers Data from: 10.09.2015

Many of your parks are opened in shopping malls. How do you choose locations for new outlets?

The criteria of selecting a suitable location for KidzMondo Park are the first bricks in building a successful and profitable business. A few of the several principles of site acquisition are: Catchment area, General Appeal, Location within a big Mall, building up on the mall visitors, Type of demographic the mall is attracting and visitors spending power, Mall location and accessibility, Parking space availability, Edutainment/ Entertainment Players within the Mall and 20 Km radius and finally Space availability and technical requirements.

Most popular establishments of KidzMondo include MEA Flight simulation, Fire department, MTV studio, Gas Station, Beauty parlour, Bank Audi, Burger King and many others. In total there are 80 establishments and 120 activities for kids from 2 to 14 years old

The company is now present in many countries, such as Lebanon, UAE and Azerbaijan. What are your future development plans?

KidzMondo current locations include Lebanon-Turkey-UAEQatar-KSA-Kuwait-Azerbaijan. Our expansion strategy covers the remaining viable countries in the Gulf and Asia, Europe and Africa, and of course the USA.

What is your development strategy?

Currently KidzMondo ranks within the top 3 edutainment brands in the MENA region, with an aggressive expansion strategy to franchise/operate 40 cities worldwide in the coming 15 years. Our business structure is flexible enough to be adapted to the territory opportunities, whereas it could be a franchise model or partnership with local investors. This elasticity gives us a competing edge over other brands that are limited to a franchise program with stringent stipulations.

Photos: KidzMondo’s Photography department

What in your opinion is the biggest challenge for retail industry today?

In today’s very competitive world, businesses face many challenges and they have different character. Some of them are compliance threats: they originate in politics, law, regulation or corporate governance. Other are financial threats: they stem from volatility in markets and the real economy. There are also some Strategic problems and they are related to customers, competitors and investors. We also can’t forget about operational threats: they affect the processes, systems, people and overall value chain of a business. ☐





13 - 15 SEPTEMBER 2015, THE ADDRESS HOTEL, DUBAI MARINA, DUBAI, UAE #1 destination to discover new trends, opportunities, solutions and best practices of the Middle East Join over 300 senior retail executives at the 5th InRetail Summit: United Arab Emirates. Retailers, mall owners, brand owners and solutions providers will come together to identify and unlock new opportunities that will transform the region’s retail industry into a world class shopping destination.


Shivam Sharma CEO Sana Fashion

Pierre Debayle Regional General Manager Nespresso

Kunal Kapoor CEO

Cornelius Durm Managing Director Early Bird


Expansion Opportunities

Strategies to Survive the Digital Revolution

Connecting with Today’s Customer

Redesigning the Retail Environment

Leveraging Big Data

Developing Digital Marketing Strategies

eCommerce Opportunities

Great for networking. Interesting case studies and presentations. Business Development Director, Retail Access

The event was insightful in sharing real time issues by the eminent speakers. Warehouse Manager, Emirates Coop Society

For more information please visit Innovation Sponsor:

Research Partner:

Associate Sponsors:


Knowledge Partner:

Media Partners:

Organised By:



Social media sources generate large volumes of unstructured data that can be extremely valuable to businesses. Organizations that operate a traditional relational database management system (RDBMS) environment, though, are most likely struggling to collect and analyze this information in meaningful ways




Graphic: Fotolia/ tereez


Power of Hadoop

The complexity of modern marketing analytics needs is outstripping the available computing power of legacy systems. Complexity and cost are two primary barriers to organizations gaining valuable insights by trying to use outdated systems to leverage big data for advanced analytics on customers and customer behavior. Proprietary legacy systems are not designed to support the logic required to process and transform disparate data sets such as structured customer data from an RDBMS, unstructured social media data and semi-structured clickstream data (from an e-commerce site, for example). By leveraging the power of distributed processing (or massively parallel processing – MPP), Hadoop can handle large volumes of structured, unstructured and semi-structured data more efficiently than the traditional enterprise data warehouse (EDW) (Fig. 1). Cost is another prohibitive factor preventing organizations that are using traditional data management systems to derive optimal value from social media data. Hadoop makes it affordable to collect and store large volumes of unstructured data and streaming data from social media networks and integrate with master data and other data to enable advanced analytics such as customer 360 view.

Modern Enterprise Data Hub

Turning Unstructured Data into Business Insights

Social media generates data that is unstructured; meaning each tweet or post is unique and does not fit into traditional schemas of RDMBS environments. Hadoop excels at processing unstructured data, using tools such as MapReduce, Pig and Hive for loading structured and unstructured data into table format. Because Hadoop works with raw, unstructured data, it provides more flexibility in how marketers use the data. For example, analyzing customer sentiment over the life of a specific marketing campaign (or multiple campaigns), or analyzing against sentiment on competitor products and brands.

Enterprise Data Hub and Real-Time Analytics

The enterprise data hub allows business analysts greater access to data - both in terms of the size and number of data sets, and the time they can access the data. ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes have long been a bottleneck for business users that were required to wait for a batch process to be setup for each analytics job. With the enterprise data hub, the data is extracted and loaded into the data hub once so users can run as many transformations on the data as needed. By integrating NoSQL databases into the environment, users can achieve “near” real-time access to data as soon as the data is created.

Social Media Analytics

What if you could analyze conversations about your brand as they occur on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter? NoSQL databases make it possible to analyze sentiments about products and brands in real-time when utilized with the right combination of open source, big data tools. There are two types of analytics that can be used to gain customer insights from social media data: Real-Time (Streaming) Analytics and Batch Analytics. Real-Time, or online streaming, analytics utilize live data feeds to collect, process and visualize information from social media networks. Batch Analytics collect data sets over time (days, weeks, months, years) and allow users

An enterprise data hub is a single, consolidated, fully populated data archive that gives unfettered user access to analyze and report on data, with appropriate security, as Fig. 1 - The complexity of modern analytics needs is outstripping the available computing power soon as the data is created of legacy systems. Enter Hadoop. by the transactional or other source system. The modern enterprise data hub is made possible with open source big data tools, including Hadoop (Fig. 2, next page). The enterprise data hub allows organizations to establish a single version of truth of all enterprise data from structured, unstructured and semi-structured data sources – giving business analysts the ability to perform advanced analytics and answer questions previously too cost prohibitive or difficult to answer.


49 | SEPTEMBER 2015

Graphic: MetaScale


here are readily available tools on the market for analyzing social media data… so why use big data technology? Open source big data tools including Hadoop and NoSQL databases allow marketers to access, store, and retain raw social media data for real-time and advanced analytics. This data can be leveraged by marketers to gain insights into customer perception and sentiment about their products and brands… and those of their competitors.


Graphic: MetaScale

Fig. 2 – Enterprise Data Hub establishes a single version of truth of all enterprise data to enable advanced analytics on customer behavior

to analyze larger data sets and combine social media data with other data sets, such as customer data or clickstream data.

posts per sentiment. In addition, users can drill down to the actual tweet to see the exact language being used in each message.

Real-Time Sentiment Analysis with NoSQL

Product Perception and Brand Sentiment Analysis

NoSQL databases make it possible to perform real-time sentiment analytics on streaming data, such as tweets. There are many approaches to establishing a real-time sentiment analysis engine. The following streaming analytics framework outlines a possible approach that leverages open source tools to collect, process, store, extract and visualize customer sentiment in real-time. 1. Data Collection. Collect unstructured, streaming data from the social media network that you are analyzing. 2. Processing. Process the data in real-time using a sentiment analysis engine based on keyword search. 3. Storing. Store the processed data, with sentiment, in a NoSQL database. There are many NoSQL databases that can be utilized – MongoDB has proved to be effective in this use case. 4. Extracting. Extract sentiments from NoSQL to a data visualization layer. 5. Visualization. Visualize the data with the tool of your choice. (There are many visualization tools available, and an organization may already have a preferred tool. As a promoter and supporter of open source technology, MetaScale recommends the open source BIRT visualization tool). The results of this framework enable organizations to monitor the sentiment of customers posting on social media networks in real-time. For example, at any given time marketers can gauge sentiment (positive, negative, neutral) of a brand, product or product model. This tool enables marketers to track consumer sentiment in relation to real-time events such as a marketing campaign or current event (for example, a political election). Users are able to see an overall sentiment trend (more positive, more negative or more neutral), as well as see the total number of


Social media is disrupting customer interactions. More customers are talking about product quality and services on social media networks, providing a rich data set to augment current interaction models.

The complexity of modern marketing analytics needs is outstripping the available computing power of legacy systems By leveraging customer insights from social media conversations, organizations can improve the quality and services of their products. The following batch analytics framework outlines a possible approach that leverages open source tools to collect, store, process, analyze and visualize customer conversations over a period of time. 1. Data Collection. Collect unstructured and structured data from the social media network that you are analyzing. 2. Storing. Store the data in Hadoop HDFS (Hadoop File System) in JSON format. 3. Processing. Process the data in MapReduce using Hive and Pig after modeling a schema for loading structured and unstructured data into table format.



4. Analyzing. Analyze product perception for statistics and conversation topics and brand sentiment using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and text analytics. 5. Visualization. Visualize the data with dynamic graphs and location-based 3-D views with the tool of your choice. By implementing this framework, marketers can gain insight to the perception of their products and brand, such as hashtags used, number of mentions, time of day people are mentioning, tone or any other statistic the business user is looking to discover. Furthermore, marketers can gain unparalleled insight into sentiment about the quality and services of their products; whether those sentiments are positive, negative or neutral. Finally, business users can see the detail of the overall view of what is being discussed about their product or brand, or those of their competitors. Once this framework is in place, there are a variety of ways marketers can analyze the data. To illustrate, we can take an automobile use case example. By listing keywords relevant to features of a make and model automobile (such as interior – leg room, seat, head space, etc.), marketers can gauge customer perception of these features by analyzing the tone of conversations that mention these in reference to the model. Being able to analyze this detail offers a fine tuned “early warning system” for quality and services of a product if the tone of the conversations is skewed negatively. The data also allows marketers to “listen” as topics trend on social media that could affect perceptions – e.g. does the company’s branding match customer perception. Hadoop provides the framework to be able to collect and analyze large volumes of unstructured social media data, as illustrated above. Moreover, the framework makes it possible to integrate social media data with master data such as product data, customer data, etc. By integrating these data sources, marketers can gain a customer 360 view - for example, correlating perceptions and sentiment from social media data to sales data to build predictive models of customer behavior.

5. Analyzing. Analyze the integrated data and create a semantic layer for data mining (for example, recommendation engines using mining algorithms). 6. Visualization. Visualize the data using a connector to pull the data either from the Hive tables or from the data mining result set using the visualization tool of your choice. This framework sets the stage for advanced analytics on customer buying behavior using data mining and machine learning techniques, including market basket analysis and recommendation systems. Market basket analysis translates buying behavior into actionable insights such as targeted promotions, inventory placement and cross-selling. Recommendation systems use a variety of data points to precisely recommend additional items for purchase.

Big Data and the Modern Customer

Organizations of all sizes have a wealth of untapped data. Leveraging open source, big data tools, marketers have more cost effective options to analyze social media conversations for customer perception and sentiment, or integrate social media or clickstream data with master customer and product data. By implementing an enterprise data hub and other big data techniques such as data mining and machine learning, marketers can turn their wealth of data into actionable insights for buying behavior and a customer 360 view. ☐

Nathan NICKELS Nathan leads Marketing and Operations at MetaScale, a big data company of Sears Holdings Corporation. As a member of the MetaScale Team, Nathan is committed to helping IT and business professionals understand how big data tools such as Hadoop and NoSQL can benefit their organization. Nathan regularly shares thought-leadership on enterprise big data implementation through a variety of channels, including articles and blogs, and has been listed in Data Science Central’s Leading Data Science, Big Data and Analytics Bloggers.

Online User Click Analysis and Path Optimization

Clickstream data, which is semi-structured data, can provide valuable insights into customer behavior by tracking the path of a user’s site navigation. The enterprise data hub allows marketers to integrate clickstream data with customer and product data already in their data warehouse for access to more data for expanded reporting and deeper analytics. The following batch analytics framework outlines a possible approach that leverages open source tools to collect, store, process, integrate, analyze and visualize semi-structured and structured data sources for greater customer insights and predictive analytics models. 1. Data Collection. Collect semi-structured clickstream data from website, web analytics tool or master data sources. 2. Storing. Store the raw data in HDFS. 3. Processing. Process the data into structured Hive tables. 4. Integrating. Integrate mater data (customer and product data) with clickstream data.


Photo: MetaScale




As a Senior Director of Big Data at Sears Holdings Corporation and General Manager at MetaScale, a subsidiary of Sears, Ankur is intimately involved in various big data initiatives. He leverages practical knowledge of implementing Hadoop and other open source tools across diverse industries to help organizations deliver value from big data. A thought leader in the big data space, Ankur speaks regularly at global conferences including Hadoop Summit, Strata, IDG and Big Data Innovation Summits. Ankur received an MBA from Duke University and a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (India).


Personal nannies, fashion stylists for free, shopping assistants helping clients in carrying bags, special smartphone applications – the customers in 21. century are increasingly demanding and many require more from shopping malls. But in a very competitive situation on the market shopping centres have to fight for the customers' attention. What used to be something special today become a part of everyday life

THE unexpected SHOPPING EXPERIENCE Interview with ARNAUD BURLIN, Managing Director of Central Europe and Austria at Unibail-Rodamco





Centrum Černý Most was opened for the first time in 1997 and again in March 2013. Why is it so popular today?

The original centre introduced itself as the very first shopping centre in the entire Czech Republic in 1997, equally it also marked the start of a new era of shopping when it opened in March. The project was designed by the eminent architects from the award winning British company Benoy, which is world renowned for its original and resourceful designs. The premises of the centre are barrier free, so everyone can enjoy the shopping here. The original colourful façade hides a space of more than 81 000 sq m, close to 3200 parking spaces and almost 170 retail units. A bountiful tenant portfolio presents the visitors with an attractive choice of exclusive and most popular brands, which satisfies all possible needs of the customers. 15 brands debuted at the same time in Prague and in the Czech Republic, and more than 20 shops presented their redesigned appearance. Centrum Černý Most launched, along with its opening, one of the most modern loyalty programmes which provides discounts and extra services. On top of that Centrum Černý Most offers premium care such as personal nannies or specifically designed areas for male shoppers. These outstanding services support the exceptional welcome attitude of the centre and were officially awarded four stars in quality certification.

Last year Centrum Černý Most received an unusual award – it was a finalist of Mapic 2014, in the category “Best Refurbished Shopping Center”. This is a big achievement.

It’s true. The aim of the developer Unibail-Rodamco was to build a new supra-regional shopping centre in Prague that would introduce a completely new shopping experience. The new Centrum Černý Most offers a premium atmosphere, a striking design combining comfort, leisure, top quality services, relaxation, food court concepts and high quality brands for the whole family. It is therefore truly the latest generation of shopping centres.

Changes after refurbishment are noticeable.

That’s right. New Centrum Černý Most is unique thanks to several elements; its stunning façade, unique interior design, lighting, relaxation zones and children´s activity zones. All the elements are put together very carefully to create a unique atmosphere and an amazing shopping experience for customers. Also, the latest modern architecture of the shopping centre of the future was introduced, using a large amount of glass. The illuminated 800-metre façade makes

Arnaud Burlin photo: Centrum Černý Most

The name of the center is intriguing. What is its origin?

Centrum Černý Most (in English translation “Black Bridge”) is named after it's location district name. The district is situated in the north-east part of Prague. The very same name also carries the underground station situated in a walkable distance from the shopping centre. It is quite common to call the shopping centre according to the district and it helps people to find it really easily.

Many shops chose Centrum Černý Most for their Prague or nationwide debut. 20 shops were redesigned for the unveiling of the new Centrum Černý Most in 2013

.sy ww to: w Pho ma ste

ir.c om

Photo: Centrum Černý Most


53 | SEPTEMBER 2015


Centrum Černý Most is the first building in Prague to be certified BREEAM ”VERY GOOD” in the “Retail” category. The shopping centre has a great accessibility not only by car and public transportation (underground, busses) but also by foot or bicycle

Photo: Centrum Černý Most

Centrum Černý Most a highly visible destination. A unique interior and exterior design is combined with a maximum focus on sustainability. The most modern materials and construction technologies were used to minimise the impact on the environment. Moreover, Centrum Černý Most is the first building in Prague certified BREEAM ”VERY GOOD” in the “Retail” category.

Centrum Černý Most 170

You mentioned personal nannies. It seems that it is a very family-friendly shopping mall.

Yes, it is. The entire concept of the new CČM Shopping Centre is generally focused on families with children. If you take a walk through the centre you see it is full of families with children since the catchment area is densely populated by them. We adjusted both the portfolio of the stores and the offer of extra services accordingly. Families and children can enjoy specifically designed spaces, such as rest areas and children´s activity zones. Keeping both the latest trends and the demands of the customers in mind, we also broadened the centre´s portfolio. To provide the most comfortable shopping experience to all family members we offer our loyal customers, as the only Czech shopping centre, free nanny services. They will accompany the customers during their shopping and take care of or play with the children. The customers can use our children´s corner which belongs


retail units


parking spaces

81 000 sq m the original colourful façade



to one of the best in Prague and offers a broad variety of activities or equipment for both small and older children, among them for instance 3D installations, various slides and toboggans, Playstations or a small cinema. Children can have a lot of fun and great experience here since there are also parties and various entertaining programmes organised. Moreover, the children´s corner in Centrum Černý Most is one of the biggest in Prague, reaching the area of 730 sq m. Wednesday afternoons belong to our younger customers who can enjoy the entertainment programme, which provides them with theatre, dance, songs and other entertaining activities.

Photo: Centrum Černý Most

What about entertaining activities and facilities for adults?

The main benefit for the customer is the new shopping experience based on a welcoming attitude and top-class customer service that was successfully awarded 4 stars. Thanks to these, the customers can enjoy outstanding convenience and comfort in the centre. It involves for instance a loyalty card with its exclusive benefits such as a fashion stylist for free, shopping assistants to help customers carry bags, more convenient access to the children´s corner, free cloakroom, and a special care during public events or special offers and discounts in the stores.

And how does your event calendar look?

Photo: Centrum Černý Most

As mentioned before, we are a family-oriented shopping centre and therefore not only the tenant mix but also the accompanying programme is prepared and set accordingly. It is logical that the events focused on children and families are the most visited ones. We prepare such programmes not seen anywhere before, the most unique and unexpected ones that have not been offered by any other Czech competitor so far. One of the most successful recent events was the Disney Princess, Superheroes or Jules Verne exhibitions that were introduced to the local market for the very first time. Families with children are also attracted by various workshops, regular theatre performances for children, sport activities and other. During the summer season mostly, we focus on active lifestyle. Therefore we have built two beach volleyball courts on our premises and we are offering them to our customers for free, along with the opportunity to attend some of the free of charge sport classes with professional instructors, such as zumba, yoga, self-defence or beach volleyball classes this year. In general, any customer is always keen on the sales period. Centrum Černý Most prepares special voucher books full of discounts at least twice a year to support the sales offer.

Are you satisfied with the number of visitors?

In terms of the number of customers, Centrum Černý Most recorded a positive trend. We are very pleased that our customers are loyal to us and come back in even greater numbers. Specialty programmes are the most sought after, for example the very successful Disney Princesses. Customers also welcome the period of sales and special offers of the


One of the key principles of Centrum Černý Most is to keep pace with modern technologies and always be online

55 | SEPTEMBER 2015


stores. Generally, we feel the numbers of customers rise during big sales and campaigns in spring, autumn and of course Christmas. Being a family-oriented shopping centre, located in a densely populated and easily approachable area, we have outstanding results and footfall also during the summer season.

a fresh food supermarket section was introduced in Centrum Černý Most. Also Nespresso Boutique introduced here the very first concept a store in the Czech shopping centre ever. Previously there was only store in the most luxurious street in Prague so it is a great honour for us to have this brand on board and to provide our customers with such a benefit.

Prague is also one of Europe’s favourite cities among tourists from all over the world, who can also benefit from your offer.

Having in regard a wide range of shopping and entertainment facilities we cannot forget about the promotion. What in your opinion is the best form to promote shopping malls?

I have to say that we attract a lot of tourists, coming especially from the north-east direction, and we do have a lot to offer them, for example, abroad portfolio of brands appealing also to more demanding customers: Nespresso, Decathlon, Gant, Douglas, Desigual, Geox, Mango, Reserved, Mohito, Tommy Hilfiger, Marciano by Guess, Alo Diamonds or the biggest Marks & Spencer store in the whole country offering fresh food and groceries.

Digital communication is very important for us and it belongs to one of the pillars of our marketing strategy. You can find the information about Centrum Černý Most on web pages, Facebook, You Tube, iGoogle as in our mobile phone application. We use all of the marketing tools starting with the traditional ones (outdoor, print, in-mall advertisement, leaflets) and finishing with digital ones. The best way of promotion is in my opinion appropriate and well-chosen mix of all tools mentioned. However, according to the latest trends and also to our recent experience, we focus more on online tools. It also enables us to react in the most flexible way and to respond and satisfy the customer´s request and address them as fast as possible. To support this we also create various landing pages, we communicate via Facebook and applications or push notifications and messages. Last but not least, our marketing communication is tailor made, each differs from the other.

The wide variety of choices available is very important to customers.

I agree, so the plenty of brands are offered to the shopping centre visitors – even the most discerning ones have a lot to choose from. There are also brands which chose Centrum Černý Most for their Prague or nationwide debut. 20 shops were redesigned for the unveiling of the new Centrum Černý Most in 2013. Aeronautica Militare Italian label presented its flagship store in the Czech network. Mohito, a standalone store in Prague selling diverse collections of clothing was also a new addition. Sinsay, selling fashion for young rebel girls, introduced its assortment to the customers in Centrum Černý Most in a Czech premiere. Decathlon welcomed its first ever Prague customers. Marks & Spencer, the second largest store in Europe and the largest store in the Czech Republic with

Green building has become very popular in Europe recently. Is ecology also important for your shopping mall?

Digital communication is very important for us and it belongs to one of the pillars of our marketing strategy





Focus on the environment is one of the most important commitments of our company. Centrum Černý Most is the top shopping centre in the Czech Republic in terms of responsible approach to sustainability. To give some specific examples, we have introduced sub-metering of energy uses, energyefficient lifts, escalators and walkways, efficient fitting, water metering and recycling, site waste management or land reuse (93% of proposed development is on previously used land). Centrum Černý Most is the first building in Prague to be

certified BREEAM ”VERY GOOD” in the “Retail” category. The shopping centre has a great accessibility not only by car and public transportation (underground, buses) but also by foot or bicycle. Our goal was to further improve the accessibility, comfort and safety of pedestrians, cyclists as well as car drivers; therefore we also improved the pedestrian pathway. Moreover, the centre has recharging stations for electric vehicles. In 2014 Centrum Černý Most underwent another audit of BREEAM In-Use International 2013 which focused on building’s operations. Within it its Building Management and Asset were verified. The worldwide prestigious certification of “green buildings” BREEAM confirmed that Centrum Černý Most meets all the standards required to achieve the highest mark “OUTSTANDING” in the category of Building Management. The resulting 96% is also the highest rating granted to any retail centre in Central Europe. In the category of Asset Centrum Černý Most gained 81%, which is the second highest evaluation after “EXCELLENT”.

You said that Centrum Černý Most introduced itself as the very first shopping centre in the Czech Republic. How do you evaluate today’s Czech shopping centre market?

In general, the Czech market is oversaturated with shopping centres. Therefore, it is very important to satisfy and pamper the customer. For instance, the competition in Prague is quite big as for the number of shopping centres. On the other hand, in my opinion the shopping centres of UnibailRodamco – Centrum Černý Most and Centrum Chodov – belong to the very top in Prague, we set the trends and often serve as a benchmark to the other centres. That is why we always try to offer some added value to the shopping. Our goal is to offer not only shopping and entertainment, but also great ambiance and atmosphere as well as special treatment and a welcoming attitude that will make the customers want to comeback. The main benefit for the customer is the unexpected shopping experience based on top-class customer service that was successfully classified with 4 stars. The mark proves that the customers are provided with extra comfort and convenience in the centre. Thanks to 4 star services, the customers can enjoy outstanding convenience and comfort in the centre. It involves for instance a loyalty card with its exclusive benefits such as a fashion stylist for free, shopping assistants to help customers carry bags, more convenient access to the children´s corner, free cloakroom, and a special care during public events or extra offers in the stores. Brand new is also our loyalty programme, literally loaded with benefits for customers. The membership provides members with lucrative discounts and extra offers from selected tenants as well as with exclusive services. One of the key principles of Centrum Černý Most is to keep pace with modern technologies and always be online. That is why the centre offers a free smartphone application and a free wi-fi connection in the entire centre. This is another feature of our shopping centre that is positively welcomed by customers.

Today retail market is changing very quickly. What are the challenges shopping centres face nowadays? The situation is very competitive on the market and


Centrum Černý Most is a family oriented shopping centre. Families with children are attracted by various workshops, regular theatre performances for children, sport activities and others Photos: Centrum Černý Most

customers face quite a commercial pressure. There is a huge amount of information, offers or advertising trying to address and reach every potential customer. Moreover, the customers consider more thoroughly which shopping centre to visit. E-shops are also of growing importance at the moment. We have to be unique, flexible, respond fast to market changes, customers’ requests and needs (resulting from either competitive offers or actual economic situation) and be the leader, number one trend setter and direction for the others. This leads to what I said before, choosing the correct ways to attract the customer, gaining their loyalty and differing from the competition is crucial. We are facing the challenges in an excellent way also thanks to our extra customer approach and unique 4 star services. ☐

57 | SEPTEMBER 2015


Today, in the highly competitive retail sector, success depends not only on good location or attractive tenant mix but also on a coherent, interesting concept. Long experience on many different markets can be especially helpful in new investments. This is only one of the reasons why SES SPAR EUROPEAN earns trust of both customers and tenants Interview with MARCUS WILD, CEO SES Spar European Shopping Centers & ICSC Divisional Vice President Europe




© SES/Photographer Daniel Hager


The cornerstone ceremony of the new HUMA Shopping Center took place in February. When do you plan to finish the new project?

The new HUMA Shopping Center will open in 2016 and work will be finished on an additional extension by 2017. The redesign will make it one of Vienna’s most state-of-the-art shopping centers and will add greatly to the supra regional mass appeal.

What is the story behind the name of HUMA Shopping Center?

Huma is owned by Jost Hurler Unternehmensgruppe Munich. For more than 30 years HUMA Einkaufspark has been a lively and highly frequented retail site. The roots of this traditional retailing location date back to the 1970s when it was opened as a multifunctional convenience retail center, acting as a regional and supraregional supplier. The abbreviation “huma” comes from “Hurler Magazin”. The former retail outlet was later redeveloped into a shopping center. Spar Austria group has operated the center for more than 20 years – since 2007 under the brand name of its retail real estate unit SES - and will continue to do so.

So I understand that the localization in this case plays an important role?

© Chapman Taylor

That’s right. SES has been managing the site for many years and knows the region and the customer habits. The location has been a traditional retail location for many years, is wellknown by its customers and has offered strong anchor stores like Interspar hypermarket, MediaMarkt, H&M, etc. The catchment area is set to grow to include up to one million people. The role of HUMA is as a regional local supplier. The redesign will also ensure the mall’s supraregional charisma and make it one of Vienna’s most modern shopping centers. The center will be a meeting point within the district for shopping and leisure time activities.

Why did you decide to make HUMA Shopping Center into a new project?

The location offers huge opportunities. The center is situated in one of the capital’s largest districts and the catchment area



is set to grow, not least due to a planned extension of an outer ring autobahn. The district also demonstrates an increasing residential population. The location has a high level of public awareness and a long-term presence of strong brands. These opportunities and the life cycle of the buildings formed the basis for investing in a complete relaunch of this successful retail location. HUMA thus continues its activities as a vital player in the local retail business, acting as a magnet for customers and helping to draw purchasing power into both the district and Vienna more strongly than ever.

You already mantioned that HUMA Shopping Center will be located in the Austrian capital. Do you still see the demand for new retail projects in this area?

Shopping centers represent an important segment of the retail industry. The market share of shopping centers in Austrian retail has grown steadily in recent years. Popular destinations – not just for shopping, but as high-quality places to spend time and meet people set the trend. Austria is a mature market – both for investors and for tenants. The situation of building permission for shopping centers is very restrictive, and few new projects are possible. In Vienna no more new projects will be carried out in the foreseeable future. Huma is the last opportunity for expansion in Vienna.

The future will not be shaped by new constructions, but rather extensions or refurbishments of existing buildings

59 | SEPTEMBER 2015


HUMA shopping centre 50 000 90 2 000 800 2016 2017

HUMA will become an urban district center with supraregional appeal, offering an innovative mix of brand shops, restaurants, cafes and services as well as an attractive children’s adventure world. The new HUMA will open in 2016 and work will be finished on an additional extension by 2017

sq m leasable area

© Chapman Taylor

shops, restaurants and services parking spaces jobs opening date additional extension

Do you think that international retail chains are interested in expansion in this region?

Of course. With regard to retail expansion, international retailers, such as Primark, CCC and the current example of the Norwegian Varner group, with its Dressmann and Bikbok brands, are very interested in the Austrian market, have brought new concepts to the country. And there is still more to come.

Your company has a big portfolio of retail projects and extensive experience in implementing this type of investments. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge in building large shopping centers?

The future will not be shaped by new constructions, but rather extensions or refurbishments of existing buildings. The prerequisite for success is primarily the quality of the location, which in turn is founded on the increasingly difficult to get building permission under public law, and, of course, the interest of the tenants.

I’m sure that previous experience of your company is useful in carrying out new investments.

Without a doubt. The trust of the tenants is only as good as the last project, which is always the fuel or motive force for the next one. As a strategic business unit within the Spar Austria Group, SES’s roots are in the food retail trade. The “spirit of retailing” is thus embedded in our genes. The long-term


© Chapman Taylor



experience as a retailer, shopping center developer, builder, investor and operator makes the difference, as we think in terms of retail and understand retailers’ needs concerning their expectations for real estate. Each single shopping center within the SES portfolio is unique and addresses the individual needs of its location. And of course, the know-how gained in projects flows into, and is further developed in, new projects.

Who is responsible for the architectural concept of HUMA?

SES is project partner of investor and owner Jost Hurler Group and responsible for the development and continuing operation of the center. The mall has been designed by the international architects Chapman Taylor Düsseldorf, and is being implemented by ATP architekten ingenieure.

How big will it be?

A shopping center of superlatives with a gross leasable area of 50 000 sq m is being built with more than 90 shops, restaurants, cafés and services, 2000 free parking spaces and 800 jobs.

In a modern shopping mall an entertainment section is very important. What kind of attractions will ensure HUMA?

HUMA will become an urban district center with supraregional appeal, offering an innovative mix of brand shops, restaurants, cafés and services as well as an attractive children’s adventure world for kids aged up to 12. In daily operation the center will ensure a unique range of services and events and a shopping experience for the whole family. High architectural quality, sophisticated lighting planning, real fountains and green plants will ensure a bright and pleasant atmosphere.

Can you unveil some information about commercialization?

Commercialization or leasing of a project is always an integral part of the planning process. Our leasing experts interact with the development, construction and center management team from the very beginning. As you know, SES offers the whole range of services in one company, from development, construction and leasing to asset management, center and facility management. Thanks to sophisticated construction logistics, the HUMA Shopping Center will remain open for uninterrupted shopping throughout the rebuilding work. In 2013 shopping center operations were moved to an interim location within the plot of land on the center site along with the most important anchor businesses, such as MediaMarkt, Interspar, McDonalds, H&M and other partner shops. So even during the construction work, HUMA is offering customers a quite attractive mix of shops. In addition the brands of Varner Group (Dressmann, Bikbok, Carlings) will all open in the center. Further brands have not yet been publicized.

© APA/Ludwig Schedl (from left to right) Mayor Dr. Michael Häupl, District Chairman Eva-Maria Hatzl, Marcus Wild/SES, Dr. Wolfgang Müller/Jost Hurler, Stephan Kalteis, HUMA Center manager

What is your tenant selection strategy?

During the planning phase care is taken to match the selection of international and national brands and regional shops to the needs and possibilities of the respective location. SES always






when shopping. In future, emotional aspects and meetingplace character will continue to be the strongest weapon for any retail concept.

intends to bring the best in the branch to its centers in the form of international market leaders and top regional players. We pay great attention to top quality gastronomy in our malls and allocate space to individual culinary concepts.

Today are very important green building and ecological solutions. What type of ecological solutions are used in your projects?

Where clients can look for current information about the rebuilding process?

It is not possible to go into every detail in a single interview (laugh). Generally speaking Huma will meet SES’s goal of sustainable development and efficient operation of a shopping center and will look after the integration of ecological and social aspects in the best way in order to guarantee economic success in the long run. As a project partner of Jost Hurler in the development of this retail location, SES accompanies the development process and focuses on holistic, customized state-of-the-art concepts. E.g. the energy supply will be provided by district heating and so on.

Those interested can follow the building activities live over the webcam on the website of HUMA or the company website.

Some experts predict that shopping centers will losing ground to the increasing influence of online retail. What do you think about it?

The trust of the tenants is only as good as the last project, which is always the fuel or motive force for the next project

I am firmly convinced that the online trend and customers’ changed communication behavior are influencing and transforming retail. Integrating the online and the offline is indispensable and requires reorientation and courage from retailers and shopping center operators. In the survival of the fittest, it is not a question of online or bricks-and-mortar, as both are equally important. Total branding and omni-channel are the keywords and only those who master every channel will win.

Spar European Shopping Centers are well known in many European countries. What are the future plans of your company?

SES is still growing and working on expansion projects at high speed. Currently priority is given to our own developments and redevelopments in Austria, Slovenia and Italy. In 2015 SES will also expand in Croatia, taking over a center management mandate for the Mall of Split. SES’s focus is on quality, new inner town and city locations, multifunctional schemes and the refurbishment of existing shopping malls to meet the objective of creating unique urban shopping experience. SES also specializes in the future and further development of well-established retail locations with the aim of achieving their revitalization and improved success. ☐

So what is your recipe for success in a very competitive retail world?

To invest in quality and urban shopping experience. Retail driven expansion, inner city locations.

How can retail industry change in the coming years?

I think that shopping centers will remain not only the most important show-case for brands. Location quality, architecture, brand recognition, the latest concepts and especially gastronomy are prerequisites for the best emotions




Book your ticket now retail15

November 23, 2015 London For more information and to book your ticket now: wiredevents #wiredretail

WIRED’s one-day event exploring the digital disruption of retail is back for a second year. Hear from more than 20 Main Stage speakers, plus 15 startups and discover the future of commerce H E A L T H





2 0 1 5







Profile for Paweł Tracichleb

Shopping Mall Expert - September_November 2015  

The most comprehensive business and lifestyle magazine covering the activity of top-level companies and executives managing shopping centres...

Shopping Mall Expert - September_November 2015  

The most comprehensive business and lifestyle magazine covering the activity of top-level companies and executives managing shopping centres...


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded