What a year it was for MAPIC! Over 8,000 people packed the aisles at MAPIC 2011, a 9% jump from last year’s event. Among these, more than 300 new retail businesses attended MAPIC for the first time, bringing retail attendance to 2,300 delegates. Retail real estate is still going strong!
Visitors defied Europe’s uncertain economic climate and reported that MAPIC 2011 boasted a surprisingly vibrant buzz. Journalists picked up on this theme at the final press conference where Cushman & Wakefield Global Head of Retail John Strachan suggested the industry had become robust about trading in a downturn.
Spanish fashion giant Desigual won best retail expansion at the prestigious MAPIC awards, while Abercrombie & Fitch was selected as best retailer in the city centre. Asics’ Amsterdam flagship took the prize for best new retail concept, and Slovakia’s Eurovea won for best new retail development.
Some big themes played out in the aisles of the Palais. Retailers are increasingly focused on prime opportunities, according to Andrew Bathurst, director at Harper Dennis Hobbs, who noted that the push to prime locations in prime cities had become even more apparent in 2011.
Keynote speaker Jan Heere, Marks & Spencer’s international director, added that market diversification was the company’s strategy to reduce dependence on the UK. Multi-channel, innovation, urban renewal and emerging markets were also crucial themes at MAPIC 2011.
On the final day of a glittering MAPIC, James Brown, Jones Lang LaSalle’s EMEA head of retail research, succinctly explained the mood of a market gripped by the eurozone crisis.
“What happens over the coming months will affect what we do for many years to come,” he said.
Brown was bearish about the prospects for a swift and successful resolution to the crisis; he highlighted the fact that activity is still surprisingly buoyant in both the occupational and capital markets.