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DES GB2013 E

Dear Readers, Many of us will have done it at some point: browsed, clicked and purchased online. A few days – if not a few hours – later, the doorbell rings, and it’s the friendly courier. We open the parcel, and there it is: the item we ordered. It is just as we imagined it. And it was a real bargain, too. There’s no doubt that e-commerce has benefits for all of us – provided everything works out as in this ideal scenario. Of course, in reality, I may well end up sending back items that I have ordered, because I don’t like them or they are unsuitable. Or it may turn out to be too much effort for the delivery com- pany to send the goods up to the third floor, so I have to collect my package from a branch instead. And because I’m not the only one picking up or returning a package, there is quite a long queue. It can be a real hassle. Yet the inexorable rise of online shopping continues. But does this trend mean that physical retailers will disappear within a few years, so that the space currently used for our shopping centers will no longer be needed? In recent times, we have had many discussions with investors about questions like these regarding the potential impact of the e-commerce boom. And we are sure that you, too, would like to know how secure our business model is. In this annual report, we would like to give you a closer insight into the current developments. And right from the outset, I can tell you that, yes, things are happening in retail! But it was ever thus. The old German saying, “Handel ist Wandel” – “trade is change” – is more rele- vant today than ever. We are confident that we are well-posi- tioned with our portfolio, currently made up of 19 shopping centers. And we see not only risks, but also opportunities. Customers and visitors should be offered the best of both worlds. An increasing number of retailers are pushing ahead with a blend of online and traditional, physical retailing, known as multi-channel marketing. So for instance, you pick out the item of clothing you want in the store, try it on in your size and then have it sent in the colour of your choice either to your home or to the store, where you can pick it up at your leisure and look it over again. Alternatively, you place your order online and have the item sent to a store near you, where you can see it and try it on. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to wait in a queue to return it: just leave it in the shop and perhaps look at something else. There is no doubt in my mind that the online world will never replace a good old shopping spree with family and friends, or the pleasure of finding something completely by chance. In addition to this and other topics, you will as usual find detailed information on the past financial year in this annual report. And of course we also take a look ahead and give you our forecasts for our business up until 2015. If you have any questions, praise or criticism regarding this report, your comments are always very welcome. For the time being, however, I hope that you find it both an enjoyable and interesting read! Best regards Claus-Matthias Böge CEO Claus-Matthias Böge, CEO DEUTSCHEEUROSHOPANNUALREPORT2013 003

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