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edition 1 (237)
January 2019
Eurobuild Awards

Ready to listen

Aneta Cichla

Ready to listen
Monika Magner, CBRE

we took A look into the most important aspects of the work of a shopping centre manager with Monica Magner, the director of Galeria Sfera in Bielsko-Biała, who was voted Manager of the Year by tenants at the Eurobuild Awards 2018

You’ve been chosen by your tenants as the best shopping centre manager of 2018. What do you put your success down to?

The key to success is to listen carefully to the needs of tenants, who now expect managers of retail facilities to provide them with the best systems and an immediate response. Another important factor is understanding that the tenant invests not only their financial resources into our centre but also their time and commitment – they expect a guarantee of a sufficiently quick return on their investment.

How do you feel about receiving this honour from your tenants?

I’m very pleased that my seventeen years of work in the shopping centre sector has earned us such trust from our clients. I can only suppose that this results from my personal commitment and my approach to cooperating with them.

What brings you the most satisfaction from your work?

I’m satisfied when all parties’ interests are reconciled: the tenants’, the landlord’s and the shoppers’. It would not be possible to achieve the objectives of the centre without a well-coordinated team. The success of Galeria Sfera is the result of their extraordinary commitment and their priority is not only to maximise revenue, but also to ensure the highest standards of customer service.

What do you have to do to maintain your position at the top?

You have to be a good and insightful observer of trends and prepare yourself in advance for introducing initiatives in response to emerging challenges. We want to be a creator of new systems and amenities for customers – this is the only way to stay successful.

What are the greatest challenges that mall managers are soon going to face?

On the operational side, in an era of rising salaries, we have to focus on maintaining the highest level of service for our clients. With the rapid growth of e-commerce, it’s now more of a challenge to improve the customer experience in shopping centres, to provide the highest quality of service in our outlets and to maintain the atmosphere of the centre, by adding new amenities and extending the food and entertainment sections in urban centres. In a few years malls will primarily become places that customers return to for a memorable experience, where they will want to spend their free time with their families and friends, with the shopping being only secondary. The legal changes to limit the dominance of the shopping centres, such as the restrictions on Sunday trading, also have to be taken seriously Our response is to strive towards changing shopping habits and to encourage our customers to spend their free time in the mall – and on Sundays too, when the leading role will be taken over by the catering and entertainment segments.

What are your plans for the further development of Galeria Sfera this year?

We are continuing the process of modernising the building, which started in 2017. Our overriding goal is to provide our customers with amenities that will make them want to stay with us for as long as possible. We plan to create new relaxation zones, improve the convenience of using the car park and to improve the directional marking system. We are also planning to introduce a scheme for employees and customers who cycle to the mall. A great number of our tenants are also planning to expand their retail space – and thus Sfera will be the only place in the local area where you will be able to find their flagship concepts. We are soon going to feature brands that have previously been entirely absent in Silesia.

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