Mapic displays "renewed vigour"
From November 16 to November 18, the major commercial real estate event at Cannes attracted more than 8000 professionals, a solid increase of 9% compared to the 10% that was expected by the organizer. The 17th edition of the show has attracted some 3,350 companies, a 14% increase, with signs of a brighter future still to come.
The event has brought together 2,300 brands that had already been present at past editions, plus more than 300 stores for whom this was the first time. Some of the brands present included Hollister, Original Penguin, True Religion, Ralph Lauren and Gucci, as well as Yves Saint Laurent, Levi's, Adidas, Andrew, Celio, Lacoste, Yves Rocher, New Look, Uniqlo, Topshop and Abercrombie & Fitch.
In the end, some 62 nationalities were represented with, as explained by Reed Exhibition a few days before the event, a significant increase in attendance by American and Indian companies as well as Chinese, Brazilian, Turkish and Russian ones. The general view was that the show was a particularly active one, with a wealth of new contacts on the side of the exhibitors. In terms of professional visitors, the high level of activity has led some to call for wider aisles in 2013 in order to successfully operate the next installment of the event.
An honored guest at this Mapic, Italy has seen its professionals particularly in demand. This edition also marked the launch of a new space, called More, which highlighted the latest technologies for retail points - an initiative appreciated by both visitors and the exhibitors interviewed. The products and conferences dedicated to the subject have therefore achieved their objectives. And while the majority of participants stressed the importance of these innovations to distinguishing their outlets, some complained that their price made it difficult to keep up with in an unpredictable economic environment. However, this same climate did not prevent certain visitors from commenting on the somewhat more lighthearted atmosphere than they had experienced at the 2010 Mapic.
"... A phase of questioning"
"Last year, we still felt the consequences of the slowdown of the show during the crisis," said the real estate manager of a major English brand, "that is not the case this year, considering the renewed vigor felt at the show. There really is a more relaxed atmosphere, and some really interesting projects." This peaceful climate, however, is still faced by the recent falls in consumption throughout the European markets. "There is clearly a phase of questioning which is more beneficial for retailers" according to the financial manager of a European brand. "The developers are moving forward but the situation gives us more room to negotiate, even if they are the ones who are put most at risk.”
"Brands are very cautious now," said Nathalie Battle, director of communications for Klepierre Ségécé. "Projects must more than ever before rest on a solid foundation to be convincing." Whereas Mayte Legeay, Country Manager for Neinver, who works within the context of this trend, admitted that "we are now in a situation which is not easy. In the the outlet market, however, things are pretty good. This market will be particularly promising in the coming years." According to Delcol Patrick, head of the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers), the context "makes one reconsider the scope of the projects – whether one be a retailer, developer or banker." In short, even if professionals remain optimistic, it does not mean that great caution is not in order for the time being.
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