US expands presence at MAPIC 2015

CANNES, 2015-11-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — International leaders from the world’s retail real estate industry met at Cannes this week for MAPIC 2015. A multi-faceted focus on digital, a significantly enlarged presence from the United States – MAPIC’s Country of Honour – and a plethora of new retailtainment specialists setting up shop in a pavilion that has doubled in size since 2014, were the high points of this year’s event.

Reflecting the increasing role of digital in the retail industry, the MAPIC Innovation Forum hosted a series of conferences and pitching sessions to discuss omnichannel retail, the increasing use of big data to manage retail outlets and the growing trend for online retailers to move into brick-and-mortar stores.

Discussing the development of omnichannel retailing, Karen Harris, Managing Director of INTUDIGITAL told MAPIC delegates, “All the research demonstrates that the multi-channel shopper is three times more valuable to the retailer than the pure brick-and–mortar shopper.”

At a time when boundaries between physical and virtual stores are increasingly fading, MAPIC witnessed another key trend for the future of the retail market: the online to offline phenomenon. Online retail specialists such as Spartoo.com – which recently opened its first store in Grenoble and plans to open 50 by 2017 – are starting to develop a physical presence through pop-up stores, showrooming and dedicated corners in shopping centres and cities. “The opening of brick-and-mortar shops gives us the opportunity to develop proximity with our customers and bring people into the shopping experience to generate brand preference,” explained Boris Saragaglia, Founder and CEO of Spartoo.com at a conference session. “To present a specific offer adapted to each of our stores, we use data collected via our platform to identify the best-sellers of a given region,” he added.

With the United States as this year’s Country of Honour, the US presence in Cannes was significantly increased with over 136 companies in town, including 29 exhibitors. Among the major US companies attending MAPIC were Thor Equities, Vornado Realty Trust, Simon Property and Kimco, with first-time appearances from Related Companies (promoting Hudson Yards), RFR Realty, SL Green and Archaio.

According to data released by JLL during MAPIC, the US market offers major opportunities and is characterised by the fact that while shopping malls and high streets play an important role, “most retail is spread across suburban shopping centres and freestanding buildings.” JLL reported that a growing number of US consumers are treating lifestyle centres – combining department store anchors, speciality retailers and aspirational luxury brands – as the new high street.

Regarding the direction that US shopping malls are now taking, Webber Hudson, Executive Vice President at Related Urban felt that, “it’s all about the great emporiums offering an assortment that has relevant price points to all shoppers. You have to continually curate your assortment and you have to continually look to new ideas.”

New York or not New York? That was the question which generated great debate from the panel at the US Conference taking place on November 18. Enrique Nehme, VP International Business Development of Charming Charlie, highlighted the fact that, “entering New York is about creating a brand that is bigger than the business.”

“While New York is a great city, the US is about a lot of great cities” said Sam Polese, Executive Vice President of Thor Equities. “Austin, Nashville, Portland, San Diego and above all Houston (which many tend to forget is the 4th biggest city in the United States), are the next big cities for retailers to be focusing on. We are spending a lot of time looking at 18-hour cities as an alternative investment strategy to the high cost of acquisition in major global cities like New York or San Francisco.”

The rapid development of retailtainment was clearly visible at MAPIC 2015, with the dedicated pavilion doubling in size this year to host 20 market leaders. Speaking at the packed retailtainment conference session entitled ‘When Shopping Malls become Amusement Parks’, Nicole Carter, Retail Development and Entertainment Executive of DreamWorks Animation explained how exclusivity was at the core of DreamWorks’ retailtainment strategy, “Customers’ expectations have changed; they want to engage and experience something unique. For us, it is important to work with the concept of exclusivity with shopping malls. Creating a truly exclusive and unique destination will enable these malls to draw traffic from other competitors.” She further added that for the DreamWorks Dream Place: a 2000sq-ft Christmas holiday cottage attraction that was launched in eight malls Stateside in 2014, some families reportedly drove for 2-3 hours to visit the attraction.

MAPIC hosted some 8,100 delegates this week, including 2,000 retail executives and 470 brands attending for the first time. With 73 countries represented at the event, MAPIC continues to expand its international footprint with a host of major shopping centres being showcased. Underlining the diversity of countries represented, MAPIC welcomed Majid Al Futtaim (UAE), Place Vendôme (Qatar), Iran Mall (Iran), South Energyx (Nigeria) and the giant Wanda Group (China). Major European companies included Klépierre (France), Unibail-Rodamco (France), Hammerson (UK), Westfield (UK), ECE Projektmanagement (Germany) and Sonae Sierra (Portugal/UK).

Commenting on the events in Paris on November 13, Reed MIDEM CEO Paul Zilk said, “MAPIC has taken place without incident and we are extremely grateful for the support we received from our clients. Our thoughts are with all those who were affected by this tragedy.”

MAPIC 2016 will take place 16-18 November, 2016

MAPIC Italy 2016 will take place 24-25 May, 2016

For editors:
Founded in 1963, Reed MIDEM is a leading organiser of professional, international tradeshows. Reed MIDEM events have established themselves as key dates in professional diaries. The company hosts MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, and MIPJUNIOR for the television and audio-visual and digital content industries, MIDEM for music professionals, MIPIM, MIPIM Asia, MIPIM UK, MIPIM Japan for the real estate industry and MAPIC, Retail Real Estate Market powered by MAPIC in Shanghai and MAPIC Italy in Milan for the retail real estate sector.

Reed MIDEM is a division of Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading event organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries. www.reedexpo.com

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