In this interview, we introduce you to Dario Cazzola, Chief Leasing Manager at CARMILA. This professional from the shopping center sector talks with us about how the sector has evolve thought the excepcional situation we have lived. Dario highlights the in order to be successful it is important that shopping centers and its strategies progress according to the evolution of society.
Stay and read the complete talk with Dario Cazzola. Enjoy this interview!
Retail Interview – Evolution of society in shopping malls
First of all, analyze the current situation… How are you living it?
From my point of view, the current situation of shopping centers is better than any forecast; pandemic, war, energy crisis and inflation are enormous calamities that could significantly mark our market and yet the damages were limited and the entire sector proved capable of finding solutions and in some cases even teaming up and today all the main indices are growing, confirming great resilience qualities.
What is the biggest problem or weakness that a shopping center has to face?
I believe that the primary task of a shopping center is to guarantee a level of attendance suitable for the characteristics of the center itself, therefore I believe that the biggest problem is the failure to achieve this standard.
What happened in the two-year period 2020 – 2021 led to a sharp slowdown in shopping mall visits, customers had to change their habits and many commercial structures are still trying to recover the rhythms of 2019.
Personally I think it’s just a question of knowing how to wait, obviously while waiting we must continue to guarantee maximum efficiency on all fronts: leasing, marketing and management must continue to pursue the right initiatives and choices in order to offer a positive experience to their users.
What role does technology play? How does it help a Shopping Center in the current situation?
I believe that technology plays a complementary role to the dynamics of a shopping centre, it is more a means than an end.
It is certainly necessary to ensure communication in every direction, it is essential to make the common spaces of the galleries more modern, but I believe that the shopping center is and will always be a physical place where the customer has both direct purchasing experiences and social interaction experiences that can never be replaced by technology and this is their real strength.
How do you achieve customer loyalty now? What do you think this customer is looking for? How can we offer them an optimal experience?
I think this is the question that all insiders constantly ask themselves and I don’t think there is an easy and unambiguous answer and maybe that’s right.
We all know that customer tastes and needs are constantly evolving, that there are many types of customer and there are many variables that influence the results.
Everyone has their own recipe which is the result of analyses, interviews, intuition, experience, etc. almost all these recipes are potentially valid but the only objective data that can certify the goodness of the recipe used remains the entrance number to the shopping center.
Are you optimistic about the future of this sector? What do you think the mall of the future will be like?
I am absolutely optimistic about the future of this sector, the shopping center is a living element that evolves every day and reflects the evolution of society following its tastes and fashions.
It is a slow mutation, sometimes imperceptible but constant.
Sometimes, in my work, I happen to compare the evolution of the maps of some shopping centers over the years and I assure you that over a period of 5/6 years the differences are sometimes evident, certain product categories have almost disappeared and new product categories take the stage.
The mall of the future will look like the society of the future.
“The entire sector proved capable of finding solutions and in some cases even teaming up”
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