Lighting the way: Virtual reality areas, mixed-use offerings and a focus on local, independent retailers could reignite the shopping centre
The majority of shopping centres in Germany bear the suffix “arcade” or “gallery”. This appendix represents not only the modest levels of creativity that have been applied to the modernisation of malls, but also the wider problems facing the asset class.
Over the years, a great number of the various elements that make up a shopping mall have become humdrum and interchangeable. This is why classical shopping centres have declined in relevance. Just like a classic car, they regularly need major repairs and maintenance. In practice, this means an overhaul of brands, offerings and aspirations.
There are clear indications that the market is saturated. In Germany, for example, there are currently 545 centres — and in 2021 precisely one new mall was opened: FLAIR in Fürth near Nuremberg, in mid-September. In the not-so-distant past, an average of 15 new centres opened every year, each with an average size of 32,300 square metres. This means that there is a lot of s