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.

In 2019 in Italy 716 free events were organized within our shopping centers.

Of these, around 13% related to socio-environmental events; in this field, the initiatives have been of various kinds from prevention/health to safe driving, from recycling/reuse laboratories to awareness-raising against violence against women.

Compared to the previous two-year period, in 2019, events with a territorial value also increased: in fact, 223 recreational, cultural and sports events were carried out in collaboration with associations in the area, equal to about 31% of the total (they were 135 in 2018) . Each of our centers works to strengthen synergies with the context in which it operates, in order to enhance it.

Great importance is also given to the in-depth study of cultural, artistic, territorial or naturalistic themes: 62% of our shopping centers have organized at least one exhibition in 2019 (there are 29 in all organized exhibitions).

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 2018 our shopping centers provided jobs for about 14,650 people;
  • providing meeting places: out of the 530 events organized in 2018, 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.