Summary of our market study

The global mall market has experienced significant challenges, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly evident in the US with predictions of 50% mall closures by 2021. Conversely, the Italian mall market contributes significantly to the national GDP with 1,269 malls and 35,000 stores as of 2021. Asia dominates the list of world's largest malls, with the "New South China Mall" leading in size. The pandemic has led to a decline in investment volumes in the Italian retail sector in 2021, registering a 5% reduction from 2020, and highlighted a shift towards online commerce, with Italy lagging behind the US and major European countries in online sales penetration. Italy's shopping centers are recovering post-Covid with a +13.7% increase in turnover by 2022. Sustainability is becoming more integral, with shopping centers potentially drawing from 20% of NRP funds in Italy. The Italian mall landscape is dominated by small and medium-sized centers, with the largest, Campania Mall, located in the South. Bernnet Shopping Galleries leads in the number of owned centers. New consumer habits emphasize the importance of in-store experience, safety measures, welcoming environments, and a human touch.

The Italian Shopping Mall Market Dynamics

In the Italian shopping mall landscape, consumer habits display a clear propensity for physical shopping experiences, with approximately 96% of the populace continuing to frequent brick-and-mortar stores post-pandemic. This trend transcends generational divides, encompassing all age groups. The perception of shopping at chain stores brings about a sense of security for half of the Italian shoppers, as it instills confidence in product availability and quality. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and technological advancements have spurred rapid evolutions in consumer preferences, with a significant thrust towards customization and multi-channel offerings.

Despite Italy's high internet usage—where users spend upwards of six hours online daily, and nearly between 30 and 35 million make online purchases—the in-store shopping experience retains its charm for one out of every two Italians, particularly those aged between 45 and 65. Safety has taken a front seat in the minds of consumers, with 63% seeking secure shopping spaces to mitigate infection risks. Hygiene and safety measures have become a newfound priority, with a specific focus on hand sanitizing stations and crowd management in confined spaces. In addition to health precautions, 39% of Italians desire more inviting physical spaces, and 34% express a preference for attentive in-store staff capable of enriching the shopping journey. The ongoing demand for an emotionally resonant experience reveals consumers' desire for engaging multi-sensory activities. This has prompted the mall industry to strive towards meeting these increasingly complex demands. On the supply side, Italy boasts including 1,025 shopping centers, 181 retail parks, 30 outlet centers, and 23 leisure centers. The most significant concentration of these facilities is in the northern regions, particularly in Lombardy. The nationwide distribution of commercial offerings in these facilities is designed to cater to a diverse range of consumer needs, from everyday products to luxury goods.

Key Players Shaping the Italian Shopping Mall Landscape

The Italian shopping mall industry is distinguished not only by its expansiveness, with 1,269 facilities throughout the country but also by its influential market players who continue to shape the shopping experiences of millions. These key entities, with their extensive portfolios and innovative measures, are central to the retail sector's vitality and are pivotal in meeting the dynamic demands of consumers.

  • Finiper Group Leading the charge is the Finiper Group, owned by Marco Brunelli, with its flagship project Il Centro di Arese clinching the top spot in the Italian shopping center scene. Il Centro boasts an impressive 17 million visitors, epitomizing a successful blend of retail diversity, and entertainment attractions. Its strategic position and comprehensive offerings solidify its status as a go-to destination for both locals and tourists.
  • Percassi Group Next in line is the Percassi Group, which operates the esteemed OrioCenter. Located in Bergamo and second only to Il Centro in terms of footfall, OrioCenter excels in providing an extensive shopping and leisure experience, reflecting Percassi's commitment to superior commercial development and consumer satisfaction.
  • Klepierre, with its vast European footprint, is the name behind Porta di Roma, another significant shopping destination in Italy. As one of the largest shopping centers in Rome, Porta di Roma is an example of Klepierre's adeptness in designing spaces that seamlessly integrate shopping with leisure and community engagement.
  • Bernnet Shopping Galleries Bernnet Shopping Galleries, although not explicitly mentioned in the provided text, deserves acknowledgment. As a leader with 50 shopping centers under its belt, it makes a substantial contribution to the market. The scale of Bernnet's operations is indicative of its significant role in driving advancements and setting trends in the sector.
  • Ceetrus Italy S.p.A. Ceetrus Italy S.p.A. stands out in the market with its vast retail ecosystem, including 51 centers and 5 retail parks. Ceetrus's properties are characterized by their modern infrastructure, commitment to sustainability, and focus on creating multifunctional urban spaces that enhance the community's quality of life.

These trailblazers illustrate the diverse strategies and robust engagement models that are emblematic of the Italian shopping center market. Their contributions not only enrich the shopping experience for consumers but also play an essential economic and social role within their respective communities.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

According to Legislative Decree No. 114/1998 Art.4 Paragraph 1, a shopping center is defined as "a medium or large sales structure in which several businesses are included in a structure with a specific purpose and benefit from common infrastructure and service spaces managed as a unit."

The first modern shopping malls appeared in the United States in the early 20th century, in 1907, near Baltimore, when a group of stores built an outdoor parking lot for their customers according to Samuel Feinberg The J.C. Nichols de Kansas City shopping center, founded in 1921, is often claimed as the first out-of-town business group.

The global mall market has been facing a crisis for several years, which has only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This decline is particularly visible in the United States. Actually, large groups such as Macy's and Lord&Taylor have already announced they are in crisis and other mall chains have been forced to close. In fact, according to Green Street Advisor, 50 % of malls are likely to close by 2021.

In Italy, there are 1,269 malls, with 35,000 stores involved, contributing 4 % of the national GDP. The largest shopping centers are located in Campania and Lazio, where we find the Centro Commerciale Campania and the Porta di Roma shopping mall, covering 200,000 and 150,000 square meters, respectively.

The development of digital technology has produced an accelerating change in consumer shopping habits. The latest market trends concern both spatial extension, i.e., the increase in the average area of shopping centers, and temporal extension, indicating the ability of consumers to shop anytime directly from home through digital devices. However, market players are struggling to manage omnichannel and meet consumer demand in this area.

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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Carrefour Property Italia S.p.a
Klépierre Management Italia S.r.l
IGD management società di investimento immobiliare non quotata S.p.a

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