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

The events represented the most significant aggregation moment organized within the shopping centers. Using the Marketing Plan tool, we define the correct mix of events declined according to the needs and peculiarities of the territory in which each center is located.

However, during 2020 and in the first months of 2021, the limitations imposed by the pandemic have strongly impacted this aspect of our business. The Marketing strategy has been modified on the basis of the constant changes related to the evolution and spread of the pandemic with the aim of maintaining contact with the community of reference of each shopping center and offering it commercial benefits through digital channels.

Starting from the second half of 2021, after the emergency phase, we have witnessed the request for greater social interaction and experience from visitors, and in 2022 the number of events organized in our shopping centers went back to the pre-covid level; on average 23 events were organized in each shopping center, for a total of 531 events.

The main target was to gradually get visitors re-used to participating in face-to-face events, and take into account three main guidelines:

  • EXPERIENCE: development of actions in cooperation with the Mall tenants in order to offer the visitors experiential moments so that they feel even more personally involved in activities carried out in the structures (purchases, events etc.);
  • OMNICHANNEL: Increase in drive to store activities, with events and actions that enable the visitor to experience the Shopping Centre on and off line, using the opportunities offered by the tools provided in our Digital Plan (reserved area on websites, influencer marketing program);
  • LOYALTY: a commercial initiative to reward the visitors’ loyalty and to encourage them to return.

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: it is estimated that altogether approximately 16,600 people work directly in the IGD Shopping Centres, 60% of these people are employed in the northern regions of Italy;
  • providing meeting places: In 2022, the processes launched so as to engage people at local level increased compared to 2021 and led to the organisation of 153 events in cooperation with local associations in order to strengthen the link with the local area;
  • offering new services and responding to new needs as they materialize.