My Thursday at MAPIC

What a day! What a day! I thought yesterday was busy, today was downright hectic.

It was all about the conferences this morning. Lordculture on the MORE pavilion, CBRE and their oddly green-tinged discussion of the retail hot spots for 2012, and then the big gun of the day – Mario Moretti Polegato, Chairman of Italian breathable-shoe pioneer Geox.

I spoke to Polegato after the conference and asked how he thought that multi-channel shopping would affect the shoe industry. “Internet is the future,” he told me. “For the younger generation, you all talk on computers, whether it’s about relationships, the news, or purchases. So, the Internet is not an option, it’s a must.” Polegato also told me about the company’s recent forays into e-commerce in the USA, saying: “Geox has managed to create technology with which we can make perfect lasts (MIPIMWorld: lasts are the foot-shaped blocks around which shoes are built). So, now sizing is spot on and buying shoes on the internet without trying them on is truly possible.”

To fulfill a special request from @Barchetta66, I also asked Polegato whether he himself wears Geox shoes. Not only did he confirm that he does, but he also lifted his trouser leg to reveal a lovely pair of smart black leather shoes – the same model that my own chap tried on in a Geox shop just a few weeks ago. Both men confirm that they’re very comfortable.

I followed up a busy morning with a lovely to chat to the very charming Anthony Willats, Director of Chapman Taylor Romania. We took a moment on the company’s sleek and sophisticated stand to discuss what he sees in the future for new shopping centres.

Anthony Willats, Director, Champan Taylor Romania by Joanne Reed

THE scoop of the day was clearly Boxpark’s announcement (news broken by yours truly) of the signature of an agreement with Corio to build a popup mall in continental Europe. I spoke to Roger Wade, head honcho at Boxpark and thoroughly nice bloke, to find out his feelings on the contract: “I really think that with our unique concept and marketing and Corio’s financing and retail development expertise, we’re on to a winner.”

Now, as regular readers will have gathered, this roving blogger is something of a foodie, so how could I resist popping over the Amorino stand after lunch? I say stand, it’s actually an Apecar – a kind of three-wheeled mini-van with an open back, out of which the glorious ice cream can be served. Their Sales Manager for France told me more about the project to bring these Italian-style ice cream vans to shopping centres by Easter 2012.

Watch out – this audio file is in French only!

Philippe Guérin, Sales Manager France, Amorino by Joanne Reed

Among my last stops of the day was the Zorlu stand, where I spoke to Mehmet Even, Assistant General Manager, about their project to build a $2.5 billion mixed-use mall in Istanbul. The enormous centre, which offers a “lifestyle experience,” brings together performing arts centres, hotels, residential buildings, retail space and restaurants. Even explained that, for him, big companies have a duty of social responsibility and that they need to give something back to the community. He believes that with careful planning, commercial builds like malls can contribute great things to urban regeneration. Listen to what he had to say about the future of shopping.

Mehmet Even, Assistant General Manager, Zorlu by Joanne Reed

Tomorrow, I’ll be working flat out to bring you not only my daily blog but also a round-up of the best stands this year.

Also, don’t forget, at Kate Ancketill’s conference tomorrow (11.00 – 11.45), you can ask questions live via Twitter. Be sure to include #MAPIC in your question, and it might help to direct your questions to Kate by using her name: 

Kate: “What do you think is the next big trend in retail…etc. #MAPIC”

Last but not least, don’t forget to sign up for the Quick Review and get it delivered straight to your inbox next week.

Read about my Wednesday at MAPIC

Read about my Tuesday at MAPIC

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