My Wednesday at MAPIC

The day started beautifully. As I started to explore the booths, I was drawn (like a moth to a flame) to the Hollister staff in their hospitality suite (photo explains it all). When your MAPIC begins with the sight of two semi-naked chaps and a free bag (thanks to McArthurGlen), you know it’s going to be a good one.

The morning’s link-up with MIPIM Asia was clearly a success – both sides had a good-sized audience and the back-and-forth between the two panels was interesting and lively. Only an inevitable few-second time delay on sound between the two sides reminded us that we weren’t in the same country.

Jan Heere’s morning keynote drew quite a crowd, and I don’t doubt the announcement that we’ll have an M&S in Paris before Christmas will please a lot of ex-pats in the French capital. The news that they plan to open more, bigger stores throughout Paris over the coming years came as a surprise from a company with a reputation in property for treading with caution. Clearly, Parisians just can’t wait for their scones and luxury ready meals!

At today’s Speed Matching, five brave participants presented to a full audience, including Kahala, who have agreed to let us shadow them through the process (see my earlier post). More about their experience in a separate post! As well as collecting blog material, I tweeted throughout the day and kept a beady eye on all social media. The wordcloud above gives an idea of the most-used words and tags associated with MAPIC today

A high point of the day was clearly my interview with Bertrand Boullé of Mall and Market, where we discussed the conclusions of Retail in the City. The summit brought together four groups of 10 participants, with a moderator at each table. They discussed how to balance retail development in city centres and suburbs; Boullé acted as Master of Ceremonies and gave the event conclusions. I won’t reveal them here, but his thoughts will be published on the blog in the not-too-distant future – watch this space! Speaking of conclusions, don’t forget to sign up for the MAPIC Quick Review and get it delivered straight to your inbox.

I had good chats with people on a number of stands. I have to say that the prize for most atmospheric stand (so far) goes to Frey, with their gentlemen’s club atmosphere: leather armchairs, stripy wallpaper and gilt frames with screens inside. However, a close contender for the title is clearly the India Pavilion (05.02), which gathers Worldmark, Prestige group, Inorbit, Prozone and Jones Lang LaSalle.

I spoke with Ghazanfar Ali of Inorbit about what he and the company hoped to get out of MAPIC.

Ghazanfar Ali, Centre Head at Inorbit, on the India Pavilion by Joanne Reed

I asked Ali whether the statement made in the MIPIM Asia link-up conference that India is a very festive country is true. “Ah yes,” he agreed, “That makes it a vibrant, high-consumption market – we really haven’t been as affected by the recent slump as some. Ours is a maturing industry, and retailers are becoming wiser and savvier about how to succeed in India. It’s all about understanding your consumer.”

Knight Frank (stand 17.11) is at MAPIC this year promoting, among others, Otrada, an 80,000 m2 project just outside of Moscow, along with the first ever shopping village in Russia – located in Sochi, which will be home to the 2014 winter Olympic Games. This huge development, known as The Mandarine, mixes restaurants and fashion retailers to cater to customers in “the Nice of Russia.” I asked Anastasi Kostenko, a Retail Project Manager with Knight Frank, why they come back to MAPIC, year after year.

Anastasia Kostenko, Retail Project Manager, Knight Frank by Joanne Reed

Lastly, I snatched a moment with Helen Basil, EMEA PR and Communications Director for Cushman and Wakefield. I asked her about the benefits of attending an event like MAPIC.

Helen Basil, EMEA PR and Communications Director, Cushman & Wakefield LLP by Joanne Reed

After a brief stop at the Asociacion de centros comerciales espanoles cocktail party (to keep my strength up, of course), my Wednesday at MAPIC draws to a close, at least until the Polish Retail Mixer at the Da Da Club this evening… It’s invitation only, and guess who’s on the list!

Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong…

Check out my colleague’s take on events at MIPIM Asia, where it seems the highlight of the day was Godiva chocolates. Lucky MIPIM Asia…

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