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edition 12 (236)
December 2018

Polish brands feted at the festival

The Mapic festival 2018

Aneta Cichla

Polish brands feted at the festival

A total of 8,500 guests from 80 countries gathered in Cannes in the second week of November for the MAPIC 2018 retail property fair. And as usual the largest meeting of retail sector players took place in beautiful French Riviera weather – the perfect conditions for networking

Just before the fair kicked off, two events were held: the Outlet Summit at the Majestic Hotel (300 delegates) and Leisure Summit at the Palais des Festivals (225 delegates). The fair itself, once underway, also featured presentations: one by Colliers International for its EMEA ‘Retail Rollercoaster’ report, as well as another to mark the launch of the Etele Plaza shopping centre development in Budapest by Futureal. Two special zones – the Leisure Zone (20 exhibitors) and the Innovation Forum (29 exhibitors) – were set up at the Palais des Festivals, bringing together the companies operating in those sectors. There were also numerous national pavilions, such as those for Italy, India, Turkey, and Spain as well as for the Scandinavian area.

This year Eurobuild CEE had to jointly organise and hold the Polish ‘How to Turn Old into Gold’ debate. Those who took part included Anna Wysocka (JLL), Jolanta Wawrzyszuk (Atrium European Real Estate), Ada Walentek (Ceetrus), Brandon O'Reilly (Liebrecht & Wood /Fashion House Division) and Wojciech Nowakowski (Dekada). The current state of the Polish market was outlined by Radosław Knap (Polish Council of Shopping Centres), after which a discussion took place moderated by Rafał Ostrowski of Eurobuild CEE. This was focused on the development, redevelopment, modernisation and revitalisation of retail buildings. Each panellist agreed that flexibility and the quality of the space delivered, which is increasingly becoming more multi-functional, are crucial in today’s retail sector. An event held by Atrium European Real Estate, which brought together some of the Polish representatives at MAPIC, gave us an excellent summary of the first day of the fair.

There were fewer stands for new Polish projects this year, as the number of large centres under construction or in preparation has fallen – reflecting how much more mature the Polish retail market has become. Developers focused instead on being present at the fair, with many more attending than in previous years, according to the organiser. It was interesting, however, how many developers from outside Poland were eager to use the fair as an opportunity to talk to Polish brands. By casually chatting to them you could find out that Polish retailers like LPP, CCC, Kazar, Kids Play and others are indeed considered to be very welcome as tenants. Shopping centre owners, especially those in CEE, were keen to emphasise how much Polish brands enrich their tenant mixes. This is a good sign for the Polish market, which is already well known for its exceptional projects. And the good will felt held for Polish brands is set to grow further as they continue their impressive recent international expansion. “From my conversations with exhibitors and visitors, it’s clear that the fair has become an important if not necessary fixture on the real estate calendar for helping Polish companies in their international expansion. It’s also a unique place to meet chains interested in entering the Polish market. I hope that next year the Polish representatives will be even more visible and diverse. And that the conversations between this year’s exhibitors and visitors will ultimately turn into contracts,” was how Paulina Krasnopolska, MAPIC’s official Poland representative, summarised the event.

The MAPIC Awards for 2018 provided a stunning finale to the fair. This year two Polish projects were in the running: Forum Gdańsk for Best New Shopping Centre and Centrum Praskie Koneser for Best Retail Urban Project. The awards actually went elsewhere (to Suzhou Center Mall in China and Grand Hôtel Dieu in Lyon, respectively), but the good impression made by the Polish nominations remains. Another project in our region, Designer Outlet Croatia in Zagreb, also deserves a mention for being nominated for Best Outlet Centre. The Personality of the Year Award went to Christopher Cuvillier, the group CEO of Unibail -Rodamco-Westfield. ν AC

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