Shopping centers are increasingly places to be together, places to meet and share experiences

Not only shopping: shopping centers also have a social function based on the needs of the local community, like becoming a stage for events.  Our integrated approach to sustainability helps us to better meet the current and future needs of our customers, as well as the communities in which we are present. For this reason what we do is shaped by the philosophy that shopping centers are “Spaces to be lived in”.

Restyling, rich schedule of events, focus on the local community, use of new technologies, ongoing dialogue with our visitors and tenants:  these are the keys to the success of our Spaces to be lived in.

The surveys we conduct indicate that our visitors are not looking just for shopping at the shopping center, but they also want to find meeting places, entertainment, restaurant services, and events which they can be a part of.

 

The consumers’ needs

We work to always respond better to the needs of our visitors so that the experience is not limited to shopping.

  • Toward this end we developed food courts which become places to meet, relax and have fun;
  • along with stores, we dedicate space to personal services: dental studios and diagnostic centers, gyms, fitness centers and play areas;
  • we took steps to make our centers more handicap accessible (for example, ad-hoc walkways in parking lots were created for the blind);
  • we organize free healthcare initiatives and events related to professional development.

The organization of events

We carefully develop a national marketing plan which calls for the organization of a number of events, based on the needs and characteristics of the local area. Each of our centers organized an average of 22 events in 2017.

  • Events with a high degree of ethical and social content. At least once a year all our shopping centers organize an event tied to the idea of inclusion. In the light of the good results recorded in 2016, in 2017 we organized the second edition of “Happy Hand In Tour”, during which individuals with or without handicaps participated together in different sports or shared an artistic experience. “Happy Hand in Tour” also made it possible for the shopping centers to establish relationships with the 200 associations that took part in the initiative and, in some cases, this contact resulted in the planning of new shared events.
  • Event broad in scope and with a strong impact. One of our main objectives is the organization of cultural and artistic events capable of attracting a large number of visitors to our shopping centers.  We work with local schools, organizing visits and initiatives tied to the school curriculum. In 2017 we organized 19 events of this kind, and from the surveys of event satisfaction carried out it emerged that, for 18% of those interviewed, these initiatives represent the primary reason for visiting the center.
  • Sporting and recreational events.
  • Commercial events.

Local needs

The philosophy “Spaces to be lived in” also reflects the attention we pay to the needs of the local community.  We work to meet the expectations of the communities in which we are present by:

  • creating employment opportunities: in 2017 our shopping centers provided jobs for more than 14,000 people;
  • providing meeting places: out of the 500 events organized in 2017, around one third involved the promotion of local products or associations in order to strengthen the link with the local area.
  • offering new services and responding to new needs as they materialize.