[POINT OF VIEW] : Culture in shopping?

The Mapic newsletter published yesterday the issue #9 with an editorial presenting the four trends for 2013 retail. Our first impression is dissapointment to “discover” four arguments already realeased before the 2012 Mapic…
After disappointement comes reflexion and we would like to share two remarks, not about the “points” but about their approach.

– We don’t think (in 2013!) relevant to consider “Digital trends” (point 4) as an isolated topic; it’s a transversal tool, technology… which as to be included in all topics regarding retail and concerning all actors (landlords, developers, retailers). The point 4 should be a part of the point 1 “Custumer service”… and also of the point 2 “Popup retail”.

– We would be very cautious about the point 3 “Culture in shopping”. All retail developers, urban planners know how  difficult it is to combine fonctions, to transform a perfect mixity  wish in a successfull reality. Except for specific activities like cinema (easier to integrate) and covered food-markets (historical stand-alone multi-uses places), “Culture and shopping” are still very complexe to combine. This pitfall will be increased by the E, digital, M… (whatever it’s named) retail evolution. We observe that consumers are getting more and more accurate about infos they are provided, about products they want to buy, about places the want to visit. It means retail will probably getting more destination-driven rather than flow-driven : retail players will need to be very precise in their positioning.
Unibail-Rodamco and Corio are seeing their future developments as “meeting places”. Klepierre (backed by Simon) will focuse future projects on “the purchase act”. Are all of them going the wrong way? Its nice to (re)design museums and apply key rules inspired by urbanism or retail to built friendly public places. We all remember the “old” Louvre museum, dark, with freezing streams, never ending corridors,  no (book)shops…. Nice as well is fitting out retail places with an event space; but it is already a part of “meeting place” vision and developers haven’t waited for 2013 “trends” to work on it.