The mission of retail property developers and managers is to tap into the huge experience of the western market, competently selecting and using the best of existing western practices in Russia – said First Vice President for Commercial Management at TPS Real Estate Alexei Chinaliev during the Russian Breakfast devoted to today’s situation in Russian retail, as part of the international tradeshow MAPIC 2014 in Cannes, France.
In his words, the possibility of using European practices in retail property development and management can be explained by similarities between the Western and Russian consumer. “I do not think Russia and Russians are an absolutely unique race of people, different from all others,” notes Mr. Chinaliev. “What Europeans like, our people like as well. Suffice it to compare an average professional shopping center in Europe and Russia: their tenant mixes, property management and marketing systems are very similar.” So instead of focusing on our ostensible exclusivity, we should better look at best global practices and implement them after having them adapted to the Russian market. “I assure you: what we try to reinvent, has long existed in the international practice – if not for other reason then at least because the western market is more advanced, compared to the Russian market. We should just understand and accept this reality, borrowing the best they have over there,” added Mr. Chinaliev.
The discussants agreed that Russia is now on the threshold of major transformations, including in retail. The success formula for shopping malls is not only a quality pool of tenants and entertainments, but also staking on immaterial factors. “Our concept draws on the fact that in addition to basic needs for food and clothes, human beings have seemingly inconspicuous, but no less important needs for public acknowledgment, socialization, self-assertion, self-fulfillment,” commented Mr. Chinaliev. “This is why we pay much attention to the emotions of visitors to our shopping centers at all stages of their visit – from the moment they park their cars to shopping to entertainments. The bottom line is that the visitor must feel welcome at the mall.” If visitors are psychologically comfortable they will definitely want to come again, concluded First Vice President for Commercial Management at TPS Real Estate.