The meeting, which took place in Cannes, France, was moderated by the president of the Asociación Española de Centros y Parques Comerciales (Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Business Parks) – AECC – and asset management director for Southern Europe at Neinver, Eduardo Ceballos. Also present were speakers from Cushman & Wakefield, Five Guys, Kronos Investment Group and DWS.
Retail is a segment that is under continuous development and there is a need to adapt to the customers’ new needs and that is why investing in renewal is so important. This was what the head of asset services for Spain at Cushman & Wakefield, Rafael Mateu, stated by assuring that «shopping centres which have been well managed and which have adapted and invested so as to offer the best experience will be the ones that will survive. There is a need to adapt to the continuous change brought on by operators and to continue investing».
Following the same line of thought the head of Real Estate Iberia at DWS, Daniel Galvez-Villacis, explained that «shopping centres in Spain will have to improve the environment for their customers and that means spending more time and continuing investing in shopping centres, because they are living beings and need to keep being fed by investing in them».
Mateu stated that in Spain around 50% of all shopping centres are more than 15 years old and that 75% have poor quality and he insisted on the «great opportunity there is to create new shopping centres».
An example of a recent player in the retail segment, the managing director for retail at Kronos Investment Group, Pablo Párraga, assured that it is a «good moment to open shopping centres in other areas and in other sectors».
«People want to have fun in shopping centres, a while ago it was different, but now we have to change the way we see things, customers provide us with the reason to improve because it’s worth it», he added.
On the other hand, the head of Spain & Portugal at Five Guys, Daniel Agromayor commented on the role the food sector plays in retail. «The food sector is gaining increasingly more space within shopping centres, customers are getting used to eat out for lunch, dinner and breakfast, so these types of establishments are much more relevant than clothing stores».