MAPIC 2023: a mature fair

MAPIC 2023: a mature fair

5 December 2023 Off By Facto Edizioni

/ The latest edition of the MAPIC trade show in Cannes highlighted the increasingly close relationship between retail and entertainment  /

Which trends are shaping the retail industry and especially shopping centers? What role can leisure play in its development? Can growth be achieved in a sustainable way from an environmental perspective? Can new technologies and artificial intelligence assist retail? These are some of the key questions that MAPIC, the leading trade show in Europe for the commercial real estate sector, sought to address last month in Cannes.

This year’s event showcased its maturity, providing approximately 4,500 attendees with valuable networking opportunities, training, and professional information through the many booths at the exhibition, and numerous conferences, which constitute an equally fundamental part of the French event.

As in recent years, the trade show featured The Happetite Forum and LeisurUp sections. The first one focuses on the Food & Beverage world and new types of dining venues that are finding fertile ground in the retail world.  The second one highlighted the entertainment options that can be in synergy with retail and attracted exhibitors from the parks and attractions sector. Regarding potential synergies between entertainment and retail, it’s worth noting that, coinciding with the fair, MAPIC released a leisure white paper, produced in collaboration with Leisure Development Partners. This paper explores how entertainment can increase foot traffic, extend night-time visitation hours, and optimize tenant mix. According to exclusive research, 54% of 18-25 year olds and 40% of 26-35 year olds visit city centers or shopping centers more frequently if there are entertainment and socializing opportunities. But what type of entertainment attracts these younger visitors? The research found that although some options, such as the cinemas and indoor gardens, have multigenerational appeal, it is competitive socialising, FECs and bowling that see much greater interest from Gen Zs and Millennials.

MAPIC, with its seminars, also served as a launchpad or soundboard for new and innovative projects. For example, Sandi Danick, Senior Vice President of Triple Group, explained, during a presentation, the process behind the creation of American Dream, one of the most ambitious malls in North America, located a few kilometers from Manhattan and focusing on a mix of retail and entertainment. Christine Wacker, Director of Business Development-Consumer Products Experiences and Live Experiences at Netflix, instead, shared insights into how her company is expanding into new markets by leveraging its TV series, films, and other entertainment content, creating collaborations to offer users a continuum of experiences beyond the screen. Some of the project mentioned included Stranger Things-The Encounter: Singapore at Starcourt Mall, Squid Game VR in 40 Sandbox locations around the world and, the first Stranger Things pop-up store in Latin America that opened at the JK Iguatemi Mall in Sao Paulo, Brazil last month. Wacker also mentioned Netflix Bites, a temporary restaurant concept opened last summer in a hotel in Los Angeles and where guests could taste the dishes prepared on the screen by the most popular chefs hosting cooking shows on Netflix.

Presenting for the first time at MAPIC, was the famous Belgian music festival Tomorrowland that introduced a waterpark project conceived in collaboration with Momentum Leisure. Named LIFE, this project will unfold both indoors and outdoors, is located near the Majaland Warsaw theme park in Poland, featuring a unique style (a feature of the brand’s music festivals) and positioning itself as “a spellbinding aqua park resort, a haven where the ethereal dance of water meets the whispering winds of magic and the symphony of sustainability.”

Urban redevelopment also found a place at the Cannes trade show, with discussions about significant European projects, either new or in the starting phase. Among them, the Battersea Power Station in London, inaugurated in 2022, stands out as a retailtainment complex born from the adaptive reuse of a power plant that had been closed for nearly 40 years (read also the story in G&PI, July/August 23 issue). Another project, Canopia, a urban transformation initiative starting next year in Bordeaux, aims to deliver a completely new district to the French city in 2026, with 70,000sqm, including 45,000sqm dedicated to services, restaurants, and leisure, over 10,000sqm to hotels, and the remaining to offices and housing.

Among the topics that captured attention at MAPIC were advanced technologies and their impact on the retail industry. Particularly interesting was the conference titled “Why everyone is talking about AI,” which discussed how artificial intelligence can better inform developers, owners and retailers on a variety of topics from advertising impact to visitor conversions. AI Digeiz, expert in artificial intelligence, demonstrated how applying AI to a shopping center allows for precise measurement of foot traffic, including the age and gender breakdown of visitors, and the so-called ‘cross visits’ between stores.

MAPIC 2024 will be held at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes from November 26 to 28. 

Continue reading Games & Parks Industry December 2023, page 24

Photos Courtesy: TOGO Media

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