Retailers are Open for Business at MAPIC 2011

The number of international retail brands attending MAPIC, the annual retail real estate market, will increase significantly this year. With one week to go before the event opens, some 2,200 retail companies are expected to attend, 10% more than in 2010.

The retailers attending MAPIC are also increasingly international. Russian and Turkish retailers, such as the Russian coffee chain Coffeemania, the women's clothing's brand Charuel, or the Turkish dry cleaning company Dry Center, wishing to expand in Western Europe, will make their presence felt at MAPIC and there will be a strong presence of American brands such as the ready-to-wear specialists True Religion and Focus Brands Inc., a leading multi-concept restaurant franchisor and operator with over 3,300 outlets in the United States and 50 other countries.

As part of their expansion strategy, retailers are paying more attention to both their site locations and their shop image. "Bricks and mortar stores are increasingly evolving into strategic locations that reflect brand values. This means that retailers are assuming powerful, recognizable architectural identities that embody the brand's environment by designing elaborate points of sale that attract a demanding, volatile clientele. The new positioning of the real (as opposed to the virtual) outlet is another trend that will be highlighted at MAPIC in the MORE pavilion, that will study the impact of new consumption's trends on retail real estate," says Nathalie Depetro, Director of MAPIC.

Retail brands now have to sell a relationship and an experience, not just an image and four brands that are attending at MAPIC for the first time, underline the point.

Ready-to-wear French brand les Fées de Bengale is developing a concept of designing glamorous shops that have an intimate, feminine style. Gilly Hicks (USA) dramatizes its women's underwear in a beach holiday home setting, with mahogany tables and oak flooring. In Singapore, the candy shop Candylicious transports consumers into an epicurean fantasy world stimulating the five senses in a burst of colorful sweets. On another note, the Belgian KCC Entertainment Design pays close attention to the architectural design of its theme parks so each site has its own distinctive identity for visitors.

on November 15, 2011