In this new interview we speak with Frantisek Slapak, Shopping Centre Asset Manager at CPI Property Group. Frantisek defends the survival of shopping centers against online shopping. He also highlights the need of innovate with technological tools to ensure customers and tenants to be confortable and to help them to create a strong relationship.
This professional is very optimistic about the future of the sector, but he points out the importance of focus on customer centric strategies.
Do you want to know more about Frantisek opinions about shopping malls sector? Continue with the interview.
Shopping Center Interview – Customers and tenants relationship
First of all, analyze the current situation… How are you living it?
After the covid 19 pandemic and the energy crisis, shopping centres are slowly returning to 2019 levels for all KPI’s monitored. While turnover went up steeply due to inflation, footfall grew very slowly especially in shopping centres in large cities regional ones are performing better in this aspect.
What is the biggest problem or weakness that a shopping center has to face?
Online for sure, nowadays it is common in practically all retail segments to shop from the comfort of home or office, any product is then received by the customer within hours or at most one day. Above all, the customers save time by buying online. But what they miss is the experience, and this is exactly the area where retailers and shopping mall owners need to focus all their efforts.
What role does technology play? How does it help a Shopping Center in the current situation?
Technology plays a key role, it is necessary to ensure maximum comfort for customers and tenants, of course, all at a reasonable cost. The energy crisis was a game changer, the operation costs are very high and many shopping malls are moving towards maximum energy savings and sustainability. Companies are investing heavily in this area, which in my opinion is the right thing to do.
How do you achieve customer loyalty now? What do you think this customers and tenants are looking for? How can we offer them an optimal experience?
We have to make everything we can to give the customer a reason to come to the mall physically instead of buying online, they need to see the added value. Once we get them in there, they need to feel comfortable and get excellent service to keep them coming back. The quality of the stores and staff is very important, we can’t directly influence this but we try to be very active in educating tenants and their staff.
Are you optimistic about the future of this sector? What do you think the mall of the future will be like?
I am very optimistic, I think shopping malls will continue to have their place in retail, it is not possible to replace them 100% with online. The future of shopping malls will be more about experience and services, the trend of transformation can already be seen in many places.
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