SHAPING THE THINKING ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL SPACES
The retail environment is completely different from 5 years ago and will be again 5 years from now. Shopping centres face a different set of challenges, from the advent of omni-channel to the rise of providing an experiential offer. They must now consider a multitude of new impacts in order to create destinations that truly serve their customer base and improve the areas they operate in. What we expect from our city centres is also changing, with the advent of mixed use and integrated developments which revolve around the 24 x 7 lifestyle needs of a person – right from urban housing, to office complexes, to hospitals and medical centres, educational institutions, schools, sports complexes, convention centres, transit stations for metro, bus and railways .. all integrated into the whole development, with Shopping Centre as part of that mega-development. At a macro level we are seeing the evolution of ‘smart cities’, which bring home the ambition to develop our modern infrastructure at a world-class scale and elegant living atmosphere for the whole society, and retail spaces have a big role of play in this. How can shopping centres capitalise on these trends to better engage and serve their customers as well as increasing sales and dwell time for profitable growth of modern retail?