The recently ended MAPIC event in Cannes, France was marked by high levels of innovation, confidence and internationalization.
It was the 20th edition of the retail industry event and its success was seen as showing the increased levels of confidence about the retail recover that is underway just now.
Among the 8,400 delegated who made the trip to Cannes, there were 500 retail companies attending a MAPIC event for the very first time. Nathalie Depetro is a Director at MAPIC and she said that the “extraordinary” mood at the series of conferences and workshops showed how the retailers had shown their “capacity to move beyond national borders”, among other qualities.
An interesting point raised at the 3rd MAPIC Digital Summit, that took place on November 18, is that greater convergence of online and offline retail opportunities is necessary. It is accepted that digital retailing is still on the rise, so entering into competition between online and offline retailers is far fr om ideal.
Among the recent ventures that have proven how important this outlook now is comes with the link between mail developer Wanda Group and online firm Baidu and Tencent Holdings. Additionally, internet giants Google and Amazon have also being involved in plans for having physical stores lately. While Google has already opened its first store in Germany, Amazon is expected to do the same in New York in the next year or so.
Alan Barocos is Senior EVP Leasing at General Growth Property. At a MAPIC gathering he pointed out to industry leaders that his company’s mall now offers the same sort of same day delivery service that is common with online shopping sites.
In fact, some research data revealed during MAPIC showed how many people now use online services as well as visiting physical retail outlets. The data came from real estate and investment firm CBRE. They surveyed 32,000 people and discovered that 74% of us look online for products or to do some research before buying anything. However, 79% of the respondents also still use physical shopping malls and other retail outlets.
The Blend of Retail and Entertainment
Another interesting subject covered at the event in Cannes was the fact that many shopping mall developers are now adding entertainment facilities to their centers. This was a big talking point at MAPIC and among those developers making a big investment in this area is CapitaMalls Asia. This company has set aside a large amount of money to add the likes of IMAX cinema, ice rinks, fitness areas and kids play areas to their shopping centers. Don Ghermezian is the CEO of Triple Five – American Dream. He stated that it is the “blend of retail and entertainment” that is important in getting shoppers to stay for longer. His firm owns the three biggest retail, entertainment and tourism complexes on the planet and is working on a new project called American Dream.
Other initiatives discussed at the MAPIC event include a mixed used project in Malaga between Intu and Eurofund. This development in the south of Spain will feature a mini theme park, a surfing lake and artificial ski slopes.
Meanwhile, plans for the Mall of Europe in Belgium were unveiled by Unibail-Rodamco. This complex will feature the world’s first Spirouland. Another interesting new project is the Jihua Park Changchun project, wh ere surfing, skiing and freefalling are among the options that sit alongside the retail opportunities there.