Do you want to know what Alexis Martin, Manager of the Intu Xanadú Shopping Center, thinks about the situation in the sector? Stay to read this interesting interview. Alexis tells us about the good progress the sector is going through, with sales figures higher than in pre-pandemic times. He stresses the importance of traffic, “the variable that all shopping centers have as a base, on which the entire ecosystem is built.” He also comments on the importance of obtaining qualified data on the profile of our clients, in order to satisfy all their needs within a single space, in this case, the shopping center, with leisure and restaurant areas, indoor and outdoor.
Retail Interview – The importance of obtaining qualified data
First of all, assess the current situation… How are you experiencing it?
In an optimistic way. If we look, there is a progression in all magnitudes, leaving the pandemic behind, where 2021 was better than 2020, and 2022 was better than 2021. We see that there is still liquidity in the markets that favors consumption, resulting in the record figures reached last December in the retail sector.
Making a concrete balance for the year 2022, intu Xanadú closes the year with very positive qualified data both in terms of sales and occupancy and sales that have increased by 14 and 20 percent compared to the previous year, which shows that the spend per head has been superior. Thus, a total of 20 brands have trusted and bet on the shopping center for a new opening or to improve and expand the premises in the case of the operators already present, which has meant a total of 6.7 million euros of investment and 7,800 square meters of new built-in rental area.
What is the biggest problem or weakness that a shopping center has to face?
The client chooses in an analogue and online world, so the projects must be capable of, accepting both concepts, ensuring that traffic does not decrease, hence the size and conception of a commercial offer with a wide assortment and differential, with leisure and catering, indoor and outdoor, is a more than relevant advantage not only to compete but to survive.
Traffic is the variable that all centers have as a base, since, from this point, the entire ecosystem is built.
The dominant retailers that have investment, “traffic” and know-how in the digital field will “purge”, based on their distribution and geolocation algorithms, implementations in secondary segment shopping centers, since it will be covered by online activity, generating for the investor, an important “vacancy”, however, will provide an opportunity to reconvert with new uses.
What role does technology play? How does it help a mall in the current situation?
Technology plays a crucial role as it allows us to get to know our guests better. Through the capture of qualified data, it allows us an optimal segmentation and this allows us a much more effective and efficient communication.
this qualifies data empowers us to offer content of high interest and with some customization by offering, through the online channel, the possibility of positively influencing decision-making, which shows that it is a highly valuable tool in the transactional and relational field.
How can customer loyalty be achieved today? What do you think this customer is looking for? How can we offer them an optimal experience?
We are aware that projects have to be oriented to the needs and demands of the current client. The way of relating to the final product or service has undergone a significant change in recent years.
We firmly believe in a shopping resort culture based on three fundamental axes: unique spaces where the building, indoor and outdoor, and the “basics” (cleanliness, security, maintenance, etc.) stand out, complemented by a wide range of offers and assortments in retail, leisure, catering, and services; hospitality, implementing a culture of service and exquisite treatment in all management teams; and entertainment as the generation of unique leisure and fun actions, whether in an on or off setting, with a long or short duration, planned or generating surprise moments, with the aim of providing a unique and differential experience.
We firmly believe in a shopping resort culture based on three fundamental axes: unique spaces, hospitality and entertainment.
Are you optimistic about the future of the sector? What do you think the mall of the future will be like?
Of course I am optimistic. According to the report “2022 New Consumer Trends” developed by Hamilton and reported by the Spanish Association of Shopping Centers, “purely digital operators are reaching the physical world, because, although they have started on the internet, if they want to grow they need to have a physical presence, and that is an opportunity for the sector”. Digitization is understood in terms of complementing physical sales, which must continue to enhance the emotional value as opposed to the more rational online.
The mall of the future must be a unique space where the guest must have a real, pleasant and sufficient experience in the physical sphere, hence leisure, indoor and outdoor, and restaurants are important pillars in the definition of the asset, likewise complemented with a breadth of offer and assortment in retail with leading brands and services.
Of course, it has to be conceived from the commitment to sustainability, which starts from the effective management of the impacts that the operation generates for the different interest groups through the evaluation of the main ESG aspects (Environmental, Social and Governance).