Future Malls: How URW invents the place to go
How should we define a future Mall and commercial partnerships in this new data era? Following the merger with Westfield in June 2017, Global Retail News asked Christophe Cuvillier, Group CEO of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, a leader of “destination shopping centres”.
GRN: Food and Beverage, Health, Entertainment… what kind of activity can enrich the customer experience in the shopping centres of tomorrow?
Christophe Cuvillier: Shopping centres can no longer be conceived as places to sell products. In the past decade, customer expectations have changed at unprecedented speed, far beyond simply shopping. The experience is key. An integrated range of vibrant entertainment plus food and drink meets this demand combined with a constant rotation and refreshment of retailing tenants.
In the early 2000s, only 5% of the commercial effort of our European shopping centres was dedicated to F&B (food and beverage). Today, we dedicate up to 15% and that is rising. The success of food spaces in our shopping centres such as the Mall of Scandinavia in Sweden, Aeroville in France, Wroclavia in Poland, or Westfield Century City in Los Angeles is strong evidence of this. Les “Ateliers Gaîté”, one of our most ambitious urban projects in Paris, will host a “Food Society”. This is a unique concept of “Food Hall”: with 35 restaurants and bars. It will be the largest in Europe with nearly 5,000 sq.m. We also invest heavily in customer “events” to keep our competitive edge. We organised a concert with Nicki Minaj in the Westfield World Trade Centre. We recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Westfield London with a very large show.
GRN: With digital and social networks, how can a property company develop brand strategies ?
Today, very few property companies have a real brand strategy. Our Group has the opportunity to capitalise on the famous Westfield brand as the only