April 18, 2019
Alina Strelkova, Director of Commerce
and Development of Object Groups at
Mall Management Group: "Throughout
the world, malls are no longer just trading platforms and transformed into socio-cultural clusters, meeting the needs of modern generations"
Alina Strelkova about shopping malls, their competition with Convenience Stores and the features of Salaris shopping mall.

- Alina, in your opinion, what are the prospects for shopping malls against the background of a very small commissioning of retail space last year?

- Indeed, the level of new space commissioning in 2018 was the lowest in the last 10 years.

- But the forecast of experts in the sphere of retail real estate is quite positive. Due to the fact that not so many new facilities appeared, the number of vacant areas in shopping malls decreased by 3%. The level of free space has reached zero in the most visited shopping malls, such as The Columbus` and Atrium. Advantageous location of these objects and consistently high traffic ensure the growth of tenants' goods turnover and allows increasing profitability. Today a shopping center can be successful and generate revenue with professional management, the right rental and marketing strategies.

- How should an object stand out against others in a competitive environment?

- I would highlight several key components for the success of the shopping mall. Firstly, it is the most convenient location for visitors, coupled with a competent concept. Secondly, the integration of modern digital technologies-the collection and analysis of data about visitors and their needs, personalization of offers and new tools to attract people to shopping malls. Third, the increasing penetration of online tools into the life of the shopping mall is convenient mobile applications, pick up points, Click & Collect services, and much more. And finally, the creation of a unique shopping experience, which includes shopping offers, a variety of entertainment and cultural events, cafes and restaurants, as well as services that make shopping and leisure in the shopping mall as comfortable as possible.

- There is a point of view that large shopping malls will soon be crowded out by Convenience Stores. There are many conflicting opinions about this. What do you think?

- The increasing trend of decentralization and acceleration of the rhythm of life in megacities leads to a high-quality and comfortable life within walking distance, that is visitors expect more than just shopping from shopping malls and this significantly changes their role in the urban environment. Our experience shows that creating a high-quality offer in the sphere of culture, education, recreation and entertainment that meets the needs of local communities is becoming more and more relevant. Therefore, shopping centers become full participants in the development of the urban environment for leisure and recreation. People tend to spend their free time in an interesting way - family values are important for them, so they spend almost a third of their free time with their family, they like to go to movies and entertainment centers, 7% go in for sports and visit cafes and restaurants. Another 5% of citizens attend educational courses and master classes. District centers cannot cover all the needs of modern city residents. Another important trend is the generational change. Already in the next decade, the main consumers of goods and services will be representatives of Generation Z, or house-holders (after 2003, 15+ years), and they will form the image of shopping malls. What is important to them? According to CBRE company research, which surveyed 13,000 house-holders consumers in three regions (European countries, North and South America and Asia), the majority of respondents spend about 48% of their income on leisure and entertainment. Despite the growing pressure of online shopping on traditional formats, 70% of house-landers still want to choose products in stores and test them before buying. At the same time, 29% of buyers consider shopping as a way of relaxation and entertainment. These global trends certainly influence the format and content of Russian shopping centers. Throughout the world, malls are no longer just trading platforms and transformed into socio-cultural clusters, meeting the needs of modern generations.

- Please tell us about Salaris. about the features of its format and offers for visitors.

- The main feature of this Mall is its location. This is the first high-quality shopping mall as part of the Salaryevo transport hub. It will connect the Salaryevo underground station with a daily passenger traffic up to 90,000 people, a bus station with 280 city and regional transport routes and a parking for 5500 cars. Covered parking of the Mall is designed for 3500 cars, the open part will be used as park-and-ride. It can accommodate up to 1,500 cars. Indeed, one of the most important tasks in the development of the Salaryevo transport hub was to provide the widest possible service offer so that passengers had the opportunity to purchase coffee or a sandwich to go, use an ATM or services of a household and pharmacy, buy food or spend time waiting for the transport. I can proudly say that it is in Salaris that the Globus hypermarket will open in Salaris for the first time, previously the brand's stores never opened in this format. The cinema of the CGV Korean brand will be another high-profile opening. Anchor tenants such as Inditex brands, LPP, Uniqlo, MVideo, Sportmaster, Rive Gauche joined Salaris. You can have a snack, invite on a date, or have lunch with your family on a weekend in one of 25 cafes and restaurants.

- What are your plans after opening?

- Assessing the existing market conditions and trends, we are implementing a number of projects that will help to get more information about visitors and build effective two-way communication. We started working with the audience in social networks 4 months before the opening of Salaris. Wi-Fi routers are installed in the common areas of the shopping mall for further targeting in digital channels based on up-to-date information about users. When creating a targeted outdoor advertising program, we consider opportunities for further analysis of conversions - the customer's profitability. The plans include personalized communication with the buyer on topics that are relevant to him. In addition, at the time of the opening of The Mall, we will launch a mobile app already working within the framework of other projects of the company. It includes a loyalty program and check scanning functionality, which will allow to form a loyal customer base already at the first stage.