China, Brazil, India And Russia At MAPIC 2013: Future Markets For Digital Retailing?

mapic_logo.jpg_426034621The 19(th) International Retail Property Market will cast the spotlight on China, Brazil, India and Russia, the ‘rising stars’ of international retail due to their strong growth potential. How to succeed in setting up in these markets, where the emergence of new distribution channels has revolutionized consumer habits, is one of the pivotal questions MAPIC will address this year.Organised by Reed MIDEM, a subsidiary of Reed Exhibitions, MAPIC will be held in Cannes from 13 to 15 November.

“The boom in consumption in these markets, driven by an expanding middle class and a growing urban population of young people, is opening up significant opportunities for retail real estate professionals,” said MAPIC Director Nathalie Depetro. “These ‘new’ consumers operate at the cutting-edge of technology and are highly demanding in their expectations concerning both physical and digital commerce. The MAPIC agenda will therefore focus on the need for a multi-channel approach to understanding these markets, regardless of the chosen development strategy.”

The study of online shoppers by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers confirms the advance of digital commerce in these countries. Internet access has grown strongly and high penetration rates for telephones and tablets encourage the use of new technologies and social networks in purchasing behaviour.

With an e-commerce industry growing at an average of 71% a year between 2009 and 2012, China is becoming a leader in this sector. At the conference entitled “Global overview of the Chinese retail – where are the opportunities?” Dr Xi Feng, Senior VP at Horizon Institute of Global Development Power, will analyse the major issues facing anyone entering this market. He will also look at the rampant shopping centre fever affecting developers. For their part, Wanda, Hengyi and Jihua groups – three influential players in Chinese industry – will provide an overview of these special shopping and leisure centres and unveil their own projects in the exhibition area. Already established in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris and London, the jewellery brand Qeelin will promote, for the first time, its collection inspired by China’s cultural heritage. Other key players in this market will meet for a lunch to which potential business partners will be invited on Thursday, 14 November, in Cannes.

With a middle class now benefitting from increased credit facilities and a new national minimum wage, Brazil is another special-case market. Shopping centres that once were mostly concentrated in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are now spreading out over the country. The conference session dedicated to Brazil on Thursday, 14 November, will provide an opportunity to discover a selection of these projects. This building dynamism will initially focus on the organization of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and then the Olympic Games in 2016, attracting foreign investment and international retailers. At a MAPIC conference to be held on Thursday, 14 November, Jose Baeta Tomas, CEO of Sonae Sierra Brazil, will reveal the keys to a successful strategy in Brazil for any brands seeking to establish their presence in the country. The developer Multiplan Empreemdimentos Imobiliarios and the association of Brazilian shopping centres (ABRASCE) will also present their latest projects.

By adopting a reform at the end of 2012 that opens up retail real estate to foreign investors, India is set to kick-start deep-seated changes in the coming years. International retailers are queuing up to enter the Indian market, in the footsteps of the Swedish giant Ikea, which has finally received permission to open 25 stores in the country after lengthy negotiations. The retailer Auchan, meanwhile, has opted for a franchise agreement with the Indian group Max Hypermarkets. A conference session on retailers, to be held on Thursday, 14 November, will illustrate this trend by giving an overview of the opportunities for development in India. Brands will also have an opportunity to meet with major developers such as DLF Mall of India, Inorbit, Prestige Group and Pioneer Property Zone Services, which will exhibit in same pavilion. And the Retailers Association of India will represent the growth of local brands at MAPIC.

Russia’s dynamic new retail real estate market took centre stage last year thanks to the Country of Honour programme and will again be showcased at MAPIC 2013. Research from Cushman & Wakefield, published in May 2013, reported on this growth: “Russia will soon overtake the UK for the first time to become the second-largest shopping centre market in Europe.” This trend is confirmed by the presence of new Russian sponsors in the exhibition area, including the Crocus group, which will present its Vegas Kuntsevo shopping and leisure complex, along with Gamma Invest, Metropolis Shopping Center and Torgoviy Kvartal. In light of this drive to build shopping malls, foreign retailers are now pinpointing Russia in their development strategy. To help them see things more clearly, Vineet Arora, CEO of the JamilCo Group of Companies will highlight the interest of master franchises for a successful launch strategy at a conference to be held on Wednesday, 13 November.


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