The CEO of AVICA, Natalia Tischendorf, was a speaker at the MAPIC 2016 Russian Breakfast.
MAPIC is the premier event for the international retail real estate market. Every year, the event draws investors, developers and retailers from all over the world to the fashionable resort of Cannes in the South of France. This year’s MAPIC was held from 16 to 18 November 2016.
The Russian Breakfast, which is a traditional highlight of MAPIC, took place on 17 November. A lively panel discussion focused on three topics of key importance for Russian retail business: the profile of today’s retail customer, traffic patterns, and converting visitors to buyers.
Natalia Tischendorf commented: “For a shopping center to be successful, there has to be understanding of exactly what today’s customer needs. The Germany company ECE, which is our business partner in Russia, carried out in-depth research that established the key factors of importance for people who visit shopping centers in Europe. The shopper’s journey can be divided into four key stages: ‘at home’, ‘arrival at the shopping center’, ‘time in the shopping center’, and ‘departure from the shopping center’.”
As Ms. Tischendorf explained, what shoppers need in the home stage is a convenient mobile app and the ability to order products through Click & Collect services. For the second stage, they need a convenient approach to the shopping center and easy parking. Research shows that convenient parking is a key factor for 90% of families when choosing where to do their family shopping. Modern technologies such as Easy to Park and Car Finder are becoming increasingly popular.
Once customers are inside the shopping center, a variety of services are important. Free Wi-Fi and easy navigation with interactive displays and the shopping center’s website are now generally available, but visitors also want loyalty programmes (perhaps voucher-based), to be able to relax in a dedicated leisure area, and to consult a personal stylist when shopping.
In conclusion, Ms Tischendorf noted recent major changes to the “ideal” tenant mix for a shopping and leisure center. The share of leased space taken by leisure and restaurant tenants has increased to 50% in Europe and the same is now occurring in Russia.