News Retail Real Estate : MAPIC Recap: Retail Property Gains Traction
Physical retail is experiencing a resurgence after a challenging period during Covid-19, with stores now being recognized as essential components of the multi-channel model. Food and beverage outlets are also injecting excitement into high streets and shopping centers.
Key takeaways from the annual MAPIC conference and exhibition held on the French south coast include:
1. Shopping Centers Shine Post-Pandemic:
- Performance of shopping centers has been strong since the pandemic.
- Footfall remains a bit lower, but conversion rates are higher.
- Physical sales are on the rebound.
- Gen Z's preference for physical stores is driving this resurgence.
2. Thriving Out-of-Town Retail Parks:
- Out-of-town retail parks are experiencing significant growth.
- Shoppers perceive open spaces as safer.
- Unwanted internet sales returns are restocked in these stores, attracting bargain hunters.
- Leases in some outlet parks are turnover-related, making them attractive to brands.
3. Flexibility and Discovery Brands:
- Some mall operators are embracing flexible leasing arrangements, including turnover-related rents.
- Smaller, lesser-known brands are offered shorter leases.
- This move allows shopping centers to accommodate both established and discovery brands.
4. Flight to Prime Locations:
- Dominant shopping malls are attracting brands looking for larger, flagship stores.
- Retailers are seeking fewer, larger, and better-placed outlets.
- Success often hinges on the presence of appealing food courts.
5. Rise of Food and Beverage:
- Food and beverage offerings are gaining prominence.
- Time Out Market announced a massive food market project in Saudi Arabia.
- Manifesto Markets is expanding its footprint with more kitchens and bars.
- Sustainability, local focus, and plant-based options are shaping F&B concepts.
6. Embracing Sustainability:
- Sustainability is a top priority for major brands.
- Initiatives include controlling energy consumption, raising awareness, and remodeling stores.
- Sustainability doesn't necessarily mean higher costs for customers.
7. Refillable and Eco-Friendly Initiatives:
- Brands like The Body Shop are adopting eco-friendly measures.
- Customers can purchase products in refillable containers, reducing plastic waste.
- These initiatives offer savings to both the environment and customers.
The retail industry is undergoing significant transformations, with a focus on local markets, flexibility, and sustainability. Physical retail spaces continue to play a crucial role in this evolving landscape.