In Portugal shopping centres are in good health and recommended. Despite reaching maturity – no new large scale project is planned for the coming years – they know how to reinvent themselves, anticipating trends and building more involved relationships with their visitors.
Unlike in the USA where a number of malls have closed, in Portugal, shopping centres are set in stone and promise to attract even more visitors.
The recent expansion and remodeling of a number of spaces, offering new stores, services, food courts, leisure areas and experiences are an example of this. We are talking about a new generation of shopping centres that seek, above all, to meet the needs of and the latest trends among smart consumers.
In 2017, the last shopping centres of this era were opened in Portugal. According to the study conducted by CBRE, Real Estate Market Outlook 2018, this year will continue to see the remodeling and/or expansion of various shopping centres across the country, particularly the food courts, combining a more traditional style with new gourmet space concepts, bringing an authentic atmosphere to the settings. Renovation, repositioning and innovative initiatives – particularly in regard to the growing integration of e-commerce and physical trade – are going to mark shopping centre business in the coming years.
According to a study undertaken by CBRE Portugal, in the USA over the course of 2017, a large number of shopping centres closed their doors despite the favourable economic climate. These closures were due to the high number of shopping centres in that market, their maturity and their inability to renew themselves. However, they weren’t the only factors. In the USA e-commerce has enjoyed exponential growth over the last decade. Online sales already represent 23% of total sales, placing it second in the ranking of the countries with the largest e-commerce representation, after the UK. While already high that figure should continue to grow by about 17% per year.
Spruced up and with a new soul
The year 2017 was marked by the remodelling of a number of shopping centres, under CBRE management, and the ultimate aim was to improve the visitor experience. An example of this is Nosso Shopping in Vila Real, which opened a new food court with different areas, customized to adapt to various consumer styles. And because a shopping centre is also a social area for both adults and children, a new type of playground was introduced with separate areas and a six-metre slide, next to fully remodeled areas.
For their part Alameda Shop & Spot in Porto and Alma Shopping in Coimbra also had a makeover. The new food courts, “Páteo” and “A Cantina”, respectively, now have a new image and possess more ergonomic and contemporary spaces.
Last year CBRE also undertook a number of innovative steps in the shopping centre sector that are in-line with new market trends. An example is the “Algarve Chef Experience”. The "Algarve Chef Experience" came to MAR Shopping through CBRE, solely responsible for the sale of the F&B area at MAR Shopping Algarve, the new IKEA Centres project that has 42,000 sq m in the municipality of Loulé. Four chefs can be found there and they have designed their own concepts: the Michelin starred Leonel Pereira, with the oriental cookery of Thai Brás, chef José Domingos and his Portuguese Lab, chef Louis Anjos offering fresh pasta and unique combinations at My Pasta and chef Guy Doré and his G’s Bistro, a hallmark of French cuisine.