“Reconceptualization is always based on people, so the staff management is of high importance: clear understanding of the goals, timelines, marketing, relations with tenants and customers. One must understand that the transformation is going to expose all the problems,” warns Yarova.
The main footfall of a shopping centre is created by economically active population who prefer to spend their free time outside. While doing a reconceptualization and renovation, shopping centres try to bring in more entertainment players, expand recreational areas inside the centres, create gastrospaces which reflect the current trend of eating out, adds Khakberdieva.
At the same time, experts agree that a large-scale renovation is not always necessary. For a neighbourhood shopping centre, it sometimes enough to reconsider the pool of tenants meeting the everyday customer needs. This can be done without closing the shopping centre and with minimum financial losses, says Stogova.
“As for the owners of stores, they usually are against the changes as they are happy with the way things are. Very often, there is no budget for that. An unprofitable shop can be transformed into a warehouse and the decreased traffic will stop being the problem for the retailor, but not for the owner of the shopping centre,” sums up Stogova.
According to Nikolaev, under 20,000m2 projects are going to transform into neighborhood shopping centres which can function even with outdated design. The main idea is for the pool of tenants to be able to solve the problems of the customers and provide everyday services. Some reconceptualization might be done there, but there is no need to shut them down for major changes.
As for the projects over 60,000 m2, they have been usually built by more experienced developers and have higher quality tenants and layouts. For them, the design of the stores as well as the food courts could be worked on and a slow rotation of tenants, adds Nikolaev.