Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 44

Shopping centres fight back With e-commerce coming on strong, shopping centres learn new moves to cope Will on-line shopping spell doom for shopping centres around the world? According to recent estimates, as much as 90 percent of retail sales growth in Britain, France and Germany between 2012 and 2016 is expected to be online, leaving the off-line players to fight for scraps. Are the shopping centres at the end of their rope? D espite the warnings from e-crazed consultants, shopping centres are still the place to be. Nevertheless, the great public is fickle and old favourite needs to keep reinventing itself in order to survive. Recently, Nielsen reported that U.S. consumers still do most of their shopping at actual, physical stores. In the long run, however, shopping centres must morph into 42 Nordicum social centres, employment hubs and places for entertainment. Wanted: Social Edge In its recent Brick by Brick: The State of the Shopping Center report, Nielsen examines the trends affecting the size and shape of the shopping center industry, as well as some of the shifting consumer factors affecting the strategic direction of this retail sector. As the U.S. population has diversified, the lines have blurred between shopping, entertainment, and community – and herein lies new opportunity for shopping centres. This blending of experiences makes it possible for retail to strengthen social ties within communities looking for communal experiences. Lifestyle centres, for example, blend traditional retail tenants with upscale leisure uses that offer shoppers a place to buy as well as an experience. Moreover, a lifestyle centre is “a place to gather”, which is something that people have been keen on since the days of hunting mammoths. Nielsen observes that this trend is most visible at the regional level, where operators