Beaugrenelle (Gecina, Apsys) and Aéroville (Unibail-Rodamco) shopping centers opened recently in Paris.
On paper, I visited 2 very distinct projects, located in very distinct areas (Paris inner city and Roissy CDG airport district); as a result those 2 places are targeting different shoppers and adopted 2 distinct architectural concepts : Beaugrenelle’s (B) front shops are “opened” on an existing high street while Aéroville (A) is on a stand alone basis and has no “direct” connection with an urban neighborhood.
Nonetheless I found significant similarities between the 2 places; does it mean that all shopping centers are looking the same? It means that they’re pointing out similar key points, showing they’re facing the same challenges.
– LUXURY: is present in B via the merchandising plan, in A via the shops design
Risk : Will B face the Sèvres-Babylone and Passy districts proposing the same brands? Will B drive enough tourists flow despite La Samaritaine future competition?
Will A’s design be appreciated by the whole client base? Will A convince the few remaining retailers (or the next to come) who are not playing the “design quality game” to maintain the global unity?
– E-EXPERIENCE : in both projects, progresses in the digital environment’s approach are understated.
B proposes an obscure description of “anamorphose” (???) process… A’s digital map includes spelling mistakes…
– CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE : I visited B during the inauguration’s event; so it’s difficult to figure out what a “classic shopping day” can look like. Near future will also show what we can expect from the “dedicated spaces” in A (Shop Up Kitchen, Atelier Shopping by Aéroville).
Apart from those “efforts”, nothing – in both places – is praised or even mentioned regarding global online sales …
– THE FOOD EXPERIENCE : Unibail already developed the notion of “Dining experience”; but whatever it’s called, the 2 places significantly upgraded their food court quality : new retailers entering in shopping centers, space, terrace disposal… A was crowded at lunchtime, I guess B will be the same.
– Whatever the postulate chosen, the strategic options adopted in a shopping center development can be different
– Digital world doesn’t prevent from assuring initial positioning
– Physical stores and places can (and must) still be attractive provided that they give clear elements regarding their role and their identity
Read also Laurent Morel (Klépierre) article “Understanding the purchase life-style” – here
Related posts :
– Beaugrenelle’s inauguration [photos gallery] – here
– Visit Aéroville [photos gallery] – here