A mature but also resilient sector, always looking for new ideas to restart. This is a summary of what I present shopping centersaccording to the author’s latest researchRetail Real Estate Observatory 2023created Reno Your retail partners exclusively for Confirm. According to the observatory’s analysis, in the last 12 months the furniture sector recorded 3 new openings, including the recent Merlata Bloom in Milan and the closure of 5 small and locally important facilities that had been in difficult conditions for some time.
The canal therefore appears mature, but shows signs of vitality with new openings, investments in the renewal of the commercial offer of existing centers and an increasing number of visitors. However, the vacancy rate is also rising, which is linked to the difficulties in the clothing sector. Finally, the outlook for the next few years is good, with the plan for 2024-2026. which includes 4 expansions until 2025 and 13 new openings.
“Shopping centers are aggregation channels,” he explains Mario Resca, president of Confimpresa, “and they must develop with innovative ideas in order to attract the consumer who, despite the inflationary pressure, buys basic necessities and reduces unnecessary expenses. Retail in Italy has a turnover of 445 billion euros with 1 million 290 thousand companies and approximately 3.4 million employees, which is the decisive reservoir of employment for the country’s system. It is necessary that the forces of the entire supply chain are united in order to overcome the competitive asymmetries between physical players and online platforms”.
In the last photo taken this month,an increase in premium shopping centers that grew by 5 units compared to last year, reaching 75. An increase due to the upgrading of centers that were innovative and awarded in terms of traffic flow and the recent opening of the Merlata Bloom center. On the other hand, the provincial important shopping centers fell by 3 units and stopped at 287, and the local centers fell by one unit and now there are 630. From the analysis of traffic on a sample of 160 shopping centers, an increase in flow can be seen. for the second year in a row, and a change in the behavior of the public, which tends to be better distributed throughout the daily and weekly period.
This year’s increase in visitors was 5.8% compared to 2022 and this is even more important if we take into account that shopping centers last year already recorded +9.9% compared to 2021. If the peak of traffic remains on weekends, and especially on Saturdays, in the last period the phenomenon is proportional in favor of working days with differences of case by case. In general, however, we notice that the afternoon, the classic time dedicated to shopping, gives way to other occasions for consumption such as the morning or the lunch break.
Vacancies (free spaces) in shopping centers are increasing in all grades except AAA-rated facilities, due to difficulties in the clothing sector. This situation, however, in a certain sense moderated the inflationary effect of last year, and in the end the difference compared to 2022 recorded only small increases. In this context, the two main trade associations, Confirm which represents 450 retail brands and CNCC (National Council of Shopping Centers)which represents 400 shopping centers (within which there are 16,000 shops), started a discussion with the aim of better defining the relationship between retailers and real estate, with the aim of reaching approximately 1,300 shopping centers present on the national territory.
“Agreement with Cncc”, he continues Resca, “opens an important dialogue with our affiliated companies, to continue the ever-tightening relationship with the national association of shopping centers, by which we will support retailers in developing the distribution network and supporting consumption, which is in a very delicate phase. And it is the first step towards greater cooperation between retailers and real estate for the smooth functioning of the centers.” A binding agreementthe entire value chain those who create, invest and support shopping places.
“We are very pleased with the work started with Confimprese, aimed at defining guidelines and best practices for management in shopping centers,” he comments. Roberto Zoia, President of Cncc. “This initiative”, concludes Zoia, “is particularly important for Cncc which brings together in one transversal body all stakeholders, including owners, service companies and selected retailers, related to the shopping center industry, forming the only representative reality of the sector.” For this reason, he constantly advocates for the contribution to make the relationship between the tenant and the landlord more profitable and efficient, with the aim of increasing sharing and transparency, as well as constructive cooperation.