Arricano CEO Anna Chubotina - about the shopping mall ecosystem with new discoveries and social insights

At the "Tenant Mix Conference Spring Season 2021", which was organized by Malls Club, Arricano CEO Anna Chubotina acted as an expert of the discussion panel "Successful tenant mix of shopping malls in the million cities in 2021-2022". A productive discussion inspired her to write a column about how events and people's life needs are pushing shopping malls to make new discoveries.

Why shopping malls are nothing more than finding a recipe for a successful tenant mix
The traffic of the Arricano shopping mall in 2020, including periods of government restrictions, amounted to 33.1 million visitors. This is a 19% decrease compared to 2019.

However, in those periods of 2020, when shopping malls were operating normally, the number of visitors decreased by only 5% compared to the same periods in 2019.

Why didn't the assumption that consumers would get used to online shopping and not want to leave their homes come true? The answer is in our nature – a person needs socialization for a quality life.

In today's conditions, the shopping mall is almost the only safe place where you can spend your leisure time and get emotional content, switch from everyday issues and reboot.

According to our research conducted in Prospekt shopping mall, one of the main reasons why guests visit the shopping mall is a pleasant atmosphere. So, the feeling in the shopping mall is completely different than at home, in the office or in another place. Its components are architecture, space, the ability to distance yourself from people and at the same time stay in an open society, live communication with sales consultants, unhurried shopping trips that can be compared to excursions, especially when updating collections. In general, a trip to the shopping mall has become an affordable alternative for those who can not imagine life without events, concerts and travel, but due to the current circumstances can not afford their once favorite entertainment.

A visit to the shopping mall is also an opportunity to switch for those who had to switch to a remote work format last year (among our respondents in Prospekt shopping mall, 42% of them turned out to be such, and another 14% practice a mixed format).

At home, of course, it is convenient to work, and you do not need to spend time on the road, but there are not enough social connections. According to psychologists, in home circumstances there is no clear distinction between home rest and work.

Going out for coffee, lunch, or shopping in the middle of the day is not a whim, but a need to remind yourself that life goes on.

This trend is confirmed by the growth of traffic on weekdays. In particular, the number of visitors to Prospekt shopping mall on Mondays increased by 10% compared to the same days in 2019. Our guests began to play more sports at home and on the street, to master new types of creativity. Remember at least the general interest in paintings with numbers or online excursions in European museums.

Today, it has become relevant to comfortably equip your home and workplace and give preference to comfortable clothes and shoes in a sporty and casual style. This is evidenced by the turnover of stores of the corresponding categories.

Last year, our company signed 89 new cooperation agreements with tenants, including those that meet the needs described above. If we talk about new stores in our Kyiv shopping malls, then these are New Yorker, Flo, Decathlon and others.

Sports are a lifestyle, and electronics are an investment
The pandemic has increased the demand for a healthy lifestyle, and therefore for those things that can provide it – from vitamins to smart watches and dumbbells. This factor directly affected the growth of categories of sporting goods, casual clothing and electronics in shopping malls.

The sports gallery in Prospekt shopping mall will be even more diverse thanks to the opening of Decathlon, a store of the French brand with an area of almost 2000 square meters, which will present products for sports and tourism.  This will be the first Decathlon residence on the left bank of Kyiv.

After all, a shopping mall is an offline media platform that provides real-time communication between brands and customers. In the space of the shopping mall, brands "come to life" and communicate with their guests through products, store design, merchandising, with the help of their sellers who have already acquired the status of brand ambassadors.

We are strengthening the electronics category thanks to the Foxtrot brand in the RayON shopping mall. This will be its first store in Troieshchyna, a large-scale residential area of the capital, where more than 350 thousand people live.
Due to the lack of metro, residents of the neighbourhood prefer shopping near their home. Buying large household appliances is not only a necessity, but also a so-called investment in a stable financial situation to reduce anxiety about the uncertainty of the future.

And the technologization of everyday life is generally a global trend. After all, customers tend to automate routine processes and devote time to more important and creative things, especially family leisure.

Habits, novelties, preferences - everything matters
In the shopping mall, regular visitors are used to their personal path, which they go shopping, going to certain favorite stores, cafes, restaurants, using the services or participating in the promotions and events offered by the shopping mall. The opening of new stores arouses curiosity and diversifies the choice. Thanks to these emotional needs, namely interest, curiosity, and encouragement of new experiences, the shopping mall builds long-term relationships with its target groups in order to constantly be on trend with new products and keep attention on the usual consumer preferences based on trusting human relationships.