Conference to address strategies to improve local competitiveness and Global superiority of Middle Eastern shopping malls
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, November 08 - 2012 at 17:00
- PRESS RELEASE
The Middle East has several tourist destinations, and is home to some of the largest, most advanced and highly competitive enclosed malls and shopping centres in the world. The 2012 RECon MENA Shopping Centre Industry Conference has been developed to address the day-to-day needs of the shopping centre industry to increase footfall, build customer loyalty and enhance the shopping experience.
Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, MECSC and President, Burjuman, said, "The mall industry in the MENA region has definitely come of age and there are many bright sparks on the horizon. Shopping centres, anywhere in the world, have to constantly strive to keep the customer satisfied, hence the overhauls which happen every few years, all designed, not to keep the architects, interior designers and construction workers occupied, but, to satisfy demand from shoppers."
According to Mr. Al Ghurair, several malls established for a few years now are becoming 'tired'. Refurbishment is a necessity to keep them on a par with the new offerings, which are coming on line. It means constantly reinvesting in your property - and those who sit back and watch the paint peeling off will be missing out big time. The customers might pop in for a much-needed essential but they won't linger or, conversely, they'll find what they're looking for elsewhere.
Today, shopper trends illustrate that shopping is not enough, as most malls have evolved into entertainment-cum-shopping destinations.
Burjuman, a mall that has been in existence for over two decades will launch an ambitious $100m renovation project to include a new hypermarket, cinema and family entertainment centre for the sole purpose of increasing footfall.
Eisa Adam Ibrahim, General Manager, Burjuman, said, "Our focus has primarily been to establish Burjuman as a high-end shopping destination. However in recent years, the expectations of the customers to include entertainment in addition to the mall offerings has increased significantly that we find it a necessity to adapt and cater to both the shopping as well as the entertainment needs of the Middle Eastern shopper."
Continuing with renovation, Ronald A. Altoon, Founding Partner for Altoon Partners LLP, will host a session addressing the forces of time that impact an operating retail property. The session will evaluate simple "lipstick" remodels, 'facelifts', horizontal and vertical expansions, fusion of new uses and concepts, the reuse of abandoned large tenant or anchors and radical transformations. Furthermore, he will address issues regarding the creation of a vision to maximise its future potential and strategies necessary to implement that vision.
Mr. Altoon, said, "I am looking forward to RECon MENA this year. My subject relates to reposition underperforming retail assets and I feel that it is a very timely subject for the region. Retail is like fresh fruit. When fresh, it is enticing, alluring, memorable, sweet, and something that everyone wants to be a part of. But when it begins to stale, customers realize it very quickly. So it takes a major intervention to begin to reposition that retail product so that it can soar again to live another day."
In a recent article by Janine Bensouda, Founder and President of Bensouda Consulting, it states that multiple survey companies in the UAE reveal that less than 69% of retail customers in the UAE in general are truly satisfied with their buying experience.
Prior to the commencement of the 2012 RECon MENA Shopping Centre Industry Conference, pre-conference workshops will take place designed specifically to enhance customer experience. Leading experts in the shopping centre industry will discuss the various negotiating techniques for shopping centre professionals, effective digital & social networking strategies and how to significantly improve customer care.
Distinguished speakers will provide a comprehensive analysis on the global shopping industry on day one of the conference and will focus strictly on strategies. They will discuss the various routes taken by Western and European counterparts and provide all the necessary details to create a unique and one-of-a-kind shopping centre experience in the region that appeals to the multitude of sense and emotions while enhancing value and delivering solid financial returns.
Execution is the theme of day two of the conference. Representatives from companies will present their own case studies on how they successfully built their own brands in this significantly competitive market. Furthermore, sessions will provide key steps on developing talent as well as reaching and engaging customers to build loyalty and establish a profitable retail business model.
Speakers at the 2012 RECon MENA Shopping Centre Industry Conference include: Michael Kercheval, President and CEO, ICSC; Peter Walichnowski, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Properties; Mark Pilkington, Deputy Chief Executive - Fashion, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group; Simon Davidson, M.H. Al Shaya Co. LLC ; Derek Barker, Managing Director, Haskoll Architects & Designers; Prof. Dr. Carl Rohde, Founder, Science of the Time - Trend Watching and Coolhunting; Fadi Malas, CEO, Just Falafel; and many more.
Sponsors of the event include Al Rashid Mall, Al Qasr Mall, BASS, Eimar Arabia, Faden Media Agency, Moda Mall, Nayomi, Red Sea Mall, Stak Design, Tejuri and Azdef Group. Media Sponsors include Images Retail ME, RLI and Shopping Centres Today.
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