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Innovation abounds at MAPIC 2016

MAPIC 2016 came to a close today with positive indicators across the board and a concerted focus on the innovative trends that are sweeping across the retail real estate industry.

Total attendance surpassed 8,300 participants, with France, the UK and Italy making up the top three national delegations of the 78 countries represented this year at MAPIC. Participation from Asia and the Middle East both grew, and following last year’s USA Country of Honour programme, the US pavilion added 16 new exhibitors.

On the retail front, MAPIC 2016 welcomed 2,100 retailer delegates. An eclectic mix of retailers (including 470 first-timer companies) and brands included John Lewis, Mars, Yo! Sushi, Tesco, Subway, Ikea, Primark and McDonald’s.

One of Britain’s most prominent retail gurus, Mary Portas (known as the ‘Queen of the Shops’), made her first appearance at MAPIC to moderate a lively discussion on the outlook for UK retail as part of the “United Kingdom – Good Morning Retail” panel. Portas noted, “ By 2020, the shopping experience will overtake product and price, both in the UK and globally. The social aspect of ‘doing’ is more important than ever, and brands need to work creatively and competitively to connect with consumers at that level.”

Over 1,000 delegates from 350 investment companies and financial institutions were in Cannes to enlarge their portfolios with new assets. Among the major financiers attending were GIC Real Estate, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Unibail-Rodamco. Commenting on the investment outlook for retail real estate in one MAPIC conference session, Roland Mangelmans, Senior Portfolio Manager of APG Asset Management said, “ A strong portfolio is based on supply and demand, as well as microtrends that will support a future investment. Therefore, it is important to focus on the individual opportunity, whether high street or outlet, and first or third tier cities.”

Commenting on the investment outlook for the US retail real estate market, Christopher Conlon, Chief Operating Officer from Acadia Realty Trust said “High Streets provide a gateway opportunity for foreign retailers who come to the US. We want to understand their business and strategy and match them to our assets around the country.” Acadia Realty Trust has over $1.4 billion in real estate investments worldwide.

Thursday November 17 saw France’s Secretary of State for Trade, Handicrafts, Consumption and Social and Solidarity Economy Martine Pinville, chair a roundtable discussion on retail desertification in certain French cities. On October 20, the Secretary of State received the latest report covering the need to revitalise centre-city shopping, particularly in cities with populations ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 where retail store vacancy rates rose from 6.1% to 10.4% between 2001 and 2015.  

Speaking at MAPIC to private and public professionals from the retail real estate industry, Martine Pinville explained that “ the commercial vitality of our city centres is not only the problem of shopkeepers, it is also intimately linked to housing, leisure and transport. The recommendations addressed in the IGF-CGEDD report to counter commercial vacancy must be collective, beyond political divisions and on different scales, with private and public actors, local elected representatives and commercial real estate professionals working together. This is the message I wanted to convey today at MAPIC by bringing together around the same table the different stakeholders of this enterprise.”

As O20 or ‘clicks to bricks’ was the central theme of MAPIC 2016, innovation abounded in Cannes, including a host of new exhibitors, pitching formats and conferences, plus a spotlight on how international retailers and developers can respond to today’s connected consumers. “Using data intelligently to understand and connect with the consumer is key,” said François Loviton, Director of Retail for Google France. “Data itself isn’t smart. It needs creative people and platforms to manage it and use it for growth.”

Over 130 companies packed the Trends Hub exhibition zone as MAPIC brought together leaders in retailtainment, pop-up stores, e-innovators and startups. Among the companies showcasing their expertise were Google and Salesforce, retailtainment specialists iP2 Entertainment, Topgolf, Vortex and KCC. From the pop-up, speciality leasing sector, MAPIC hosted the likes of Pölka Shoes, Storefront, WhataSpace! and bemypop.

First-time attendees at MAPIC, iP2Entertainment announced a partnership with Mattel Inc., to roll out Mattel Play BIG! global experiential centres featuring brands including Barbie™, Hot Wheels™ and Mega Bloks™. Mattel Play BIG! will feature hands-on entertainment and cutting-edge technology to offer visitors of large retail and shopping developments a larger-than-life play experience. Each Mattel brand will be featured in its own themed area, offering various play experiences.

Illustrating the O2O trend and the importance of integrating physical commerce into a 360° strategy, French pure player Studiomazé chose to launch simultaneously two main distribution channels: online and offline through pop-up stores. “The objective is to create synergies between these two channels as 40% of consumers prepare their shopping online before going to a physical store. As Studiomazé is a growing brand, pop-up stores allow us to promote our products and new clothing collections but also to generate online sales after offline sales. In the long term, we would like to open our own shop,” explained Lucille Mazé, CEO and Founder of Studiomazé.

Representing the wide-ranging e-innovator/digital sector were digital signage specialists Samsung Electronics, ClearChannel and ViaDirect, indoor mapping specialists Visioglobe and data & analytics company Retency. And among the 30+ startup companies in Cannes, MAPIC delegates accessed PayinTech’s payment bracelet system, retail body scanning technology from SIZZY and virtual reality technology from Diakse, Huntertainment and Skyboy.

The retail business has embraced innovation in all its forms and the growth in the number of companies involved in retailtainment, speciality leasing or digital and the ideas they are presenting here in Cannes is absolutely unique, ” noted MAPIC Director Nathalie Depetro. “These are exciting times within the international retail real estate sector which MAPIC has been serving since 1995. It is a reflection of developments within the market and MAPIC’s commitment to servicing its global clients that we are bringing the MAPIC brand to India next year to join the MAPIC portfolio of events in Italy, China and Russia,” added Nathalie Depetro.

Reflecting MAPIC’s stature as the world’s leading event for real estate connected to the retail sector, the event’s exhibition halls hosted dozens of the most ambitious and latest projects on the market. Among them, the redevelopment of Grand Hôtel-Dieu in Lyon - which is the largest private initiative to renovate an historic monument ever undertaken in France - Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport, the redevelopment of Hoog Catharijne, the largest shopping centre in The Netherlands and City Point, the mixed-use development in Brooklyn, USA.

MAPIC 2017 will take place in Cannes from 15 to 17 November 2017 and will have ‘Food and Beverage’ as its central theme.

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