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DES GB2013 E

traditional features of a shopping mall, such as brand-name labels, store diversity, convenience, atmosphere and pro- fessional management, with small-scale urbanity and local flair. Loosely interpreted, this means that the highest- paying tenants alone will not be enough to lure online shop- pers away from their screens. The only way to ensure that shopping venues attract customers in future is by offering not only a lively blend of catering, leisure activities and fun but also health and wellbeing providers and public services. Anybody following the evolution of modern shop- ping centers in Germany can see precisely these trends reflected. N Online retailing is autistic, yet cities and retailing are mu- tually dependent. If we want to avoid being wholly de- pendent on the Internet someday, investing in cities and retail is more worthwhile than ever. Don’t ignore, integrate! Amazon has been active in the book market since 1998, and in 2014 the company plans to enter the food retail segment. With revenue in this area only accounting for less than 0.3% of total online sales, it is considered the last bastion of bricks and mortar retail – unlike media and fashion which, according to Statista, have already lost 29% and 18%, re- spectively, to the Internet. But shopkeepers are capable of learning! Ten years ago, the bookstore Thalia countered the cyber attack by offering larger stores and a bigger se- lection. In doing so, it not only underestimated the seem- ingly infinite range of products available online but also customers’ need to order whenever they want and their demand for convenience. Whether Edeka, Rewe or Tengel- mann – these food retailers have long since begun testing their own delivery and click-and-col- lect services (online orders with in- store pick-ups) and are ready to meet customers’ changing needs. These are referred to as multi-chan- nel and omni-channel concepts, and they mesh e-commerce with bricks and mortar shops. And they are booming among chain stores, not least because click-and-collect pick- up stations prompt customers to visit the store. “We’ve now reached a point where one in every ten online orders is placed from a physical store because customers see an item and then order it via a mobile device,” explains Marcel Beelen, Vice President Business Development at DHL. Not only that, but investments in the shopping environment are at re- cord highs as bricks and mortar stores’ key competitive advantage over the world of virtual shopping. The EHI Retail Institute reported that €4.8 billion have been spent on store expansions and renovations. Also pos- itive is the fact that local retailers are developing a strong sense of what they have to offer customers: Merchants in Hamburg protested against the practice of showrooming – looking offline and buying online – and its detrimental impact on business by covering up their windows and refusing to accept parcels. The owner of one photo shop in Munich charges up to €25 for a consultation which can then be credited towards the customer’s purchase. Retailers in Augsburg, with the support of a local TV and radio station, promoted shopping locally with a campaign entitled “Leave the click in your city”, which aroused quite a bit of sym- pathy for many longstanding traditional retailers! After all, 38% of those surveyed after the campaign had decided to change their shopping hab- its. Since then, the station has been inundated with enquiries from oth- er communities and additional campaigns will be launched soon in cities from Aschaffenburg to Würzburg. N Every day, bricks and mortar retailers are getting a little better at bringing together the best of both worlds of shopping. SUMMARY: It is a well-known fact that, while progress cannot be stopped, it can be steered. Convenient clicks of the mouse have long since become an established part of modern shopping experiences. Luckily, physi- cal retail has realised that it has a pole position when it comes to link- ing customers’ shopping enjoyment with their love of ordering online. This puts retailers in a position not only to defend their own market share but also to solve problems like parcel pick-up, exchanges and try-ons in a way that is more time-efficient and environmentally friendly than pure-play online merchants. When all is said and done, whether they are destined to win the race against the pure players’ ample war chests will also depend on whether they make far-sighted investments in software, real estate and communications. Rahel Willhardt has been working as a freelance journalist for national newspapers,professional journals and magazines for twelve years. She has become a well-established profession- al writer who specialises in the areas of retail, architecture, the real estate industry and marketing. Ms Willhardt follows two principles in her work: articles should be informative and entertaining (professional feature articles),and the stories they present should risk a glimpse at the bigger picture. ABOUT THE AUTHOR DEUTSCHEEUROSHOPANNUALREPORT2013/SHOPPING 027

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