MAPIC Wrap: Day One - MAPIC News

Day One of MAPIC 2018 has been a thrilling ride through the topics and issues that matter the most in modern retail. In between testing immersive experiences and the latest retail tech and leisure concepts on show around our inaugural Leisure and Innovation forums, we heard from some of physical and online retail’s best minds; the individuals that are leading the industry into a new era of retail convergence. Here’s our wrap-up of some of the day’s most interesting conferences.


Keynote Speech – Transforming reality: physical in the age of digital


True pioneer of the retail sector, Christophe Cuvillier, CEO of Unibail Rodamco-Westfield, kicked off the event with an insightful and honest opening keynote speech, where he was welcomed by a full room of over 100 delegates. During the session he talked exclusively  about how the retail sector is adapting to e-commerce growth. As the man at the helm of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Cuvillier pointed out that developing partnerships with retailers is at the core of everything.


 “We need to collaborate much more with retailers and not just having a negotiation about square meters.” – Christophe Cuvillier, CEO Unibail Rodamco-Westfield


Mixed use retail and leisure: What happens next? – White Paper

Learn about the retail industry's latest data, developments, innovations and projections in our last white paper


In contrast to discussions of “so-called” dead retail, there is still a major space for physical retailers to deliver customers’ expectations according to Cuvillier. The future remains far from a divorce between offline and online retail brands, as exemplified by the success of click-collect-stores.


“Half of #ecommerce is @amazon and the other ones are brands that have stores. That tells you everything about so-called dead #retail” – Christophe Cuvillier, CEO Unibail Rodamco-Westfield


The recipe that will make retail successful today is the delivery of unique experiences to customers. Cuvillier noted that cinemas remain the main attraction of shopping malls, contributing to 10-15% of the traffic.

“We fight for the latest concepts so we can change. If you don’t change you get old. And today, sadly, you can get old much quicker because millenials, they get bored” – Christophe Cuvillier, CEO Unibail Rodamco-Westfield






Session – Ecommerce energising physical


The potential of online to enhance customers’ experience of bricks-and-mortar retail is immense, as highlighted by our panel of experts at ’Ecommerce energising physical’.’s Phillipe Chainieux kicked-off the discussion with key insight into his innovative online furniture concept, which not only seeks to bridge the gap between designers and consumers, but the gap between online and offline. Although 100% of’s customers “start online and finish online”, Chainieux’s focus was on perfecting customer experience.


“It is not about the technology as it is everywhere, it is about the human touch. It is all about delivering experiences as we don’t take any transactions in the showrooms.” – Phillipe Chainieux, CEO,

We also heard from Appear Here Founder and CEO, Ross Bailey, who drew our attention to the  traditionally online retail concepts that are doing spectacular things with physical pop-up space to create powerful brand stories. The conversation was directed toward fellow panellist Molly Jeffrey, whose luxury pyjama company Desmond & Dempsey is a prime example of one such retailer. Jeffrey run’s her pop-ups with an aim of “taking an everyday moment and making it extraordinary”. For Desmond & Dempsey, bricks-and-mortar retail is about much more than selling pyjamas; “what we connect with our customers on and with is the idea of Sunday mornings.”


Session – Destination: USA


The panel at ‘Destination: USA’ gave a retail market overview and discussed the latest upcoming projects in the retail property industry. The panel was led by Naveen Jagg, President of Retail Advisory Services and Capital Markets, JLL, and included Meghan Kruger, Senior Vice President of Leasing at Seritage Growth Properties, who offered her experiences of the US market.

“We are working hard to bring relevant international brands to the United States market but they have to understand our market dynamic” – Meghan Kruger, Seritage Growth Properties.


The panel also analysed methods of sourcing the right partnerships and creating effective strategies to penetrate markets. This included a discussion led by Daniel Spinath, Founder & CEO, Crepeaffaire on finding the best locations for potential retail real estate.


“Brands need to work hard to understand United States customers and adapt to their landscape” – Daniel Spinath, Founder and CEO, Crepeaffaire.


Finally, the group discussed how to approach international brands and understand their client bases.


“The most successful international brands have understood the United States consumer, and landlords have supported their growth through terms that allow them to grow” – Thomas Phillips, Real Estate Practice Chair and Partner at Brown Rudnick LLP.



Session – All you need is logistics


From delivery & last mile retail to pick up services, warehouses, platforms & hubs, logistics is at the centre of retail’s transformation. Ronan Bole, Director of Operations, Amazon France led the conversation at our ‘All you need is logistics’ session with some key insight into the pipeline of innovations at the ecommerce giant, which has fast become global retail’s biggest disruptor.


 “Next year we are opening a robotics site in Paris – this is a big move for us as it will be our first robotics site in France; 142 sq m” – Ronan Bole, Director of Operations, Amazon France


Questions have been asked about the forces of retail that could potentially disrupt the disruptor – but Bole isn’t concerned about the competition.

“What I want is to continue to serve the customer…we are not looking at competitors, but looking at where customers want us to go.” – Ronan Bole, Director of Operations, Amazon France.


The idea of putting the customer first in the age of logistics – an age where an increasing number of Amazon lockers allow customers to pick up parcels wherever they want – was reiterated by Matthew Whittaker, Business Development Director, Khueine-Nagel. For Whitaker, a customer-centric approach is key and he noted that, while it might be out of his control, customer preferences are shaping the way his company approaches delivery. The overriding message was that listening to customers, and adapting your strategy to incorporate new innovations accordingly is the route to a new, vibrant age of retail.


“It is not the end retail it is a start of an evolution” – Matthew Whittaker, Business Development Director, Kuine-Nagel



Session – “Destination: Italy, Part I”


Our ‘Destination: Italy, Part I’ panel was moderated by Cristina Lazzati, Director of Mark Up & Gdoweek, and invited key insights from property experts including Francesco Soldi, Head of Marketing and Sustainability at IGD Siiq. The group broke down food and beverage trends and analysed the future of Italian shopping centres in the digital age.

“Italian retail can be easily exported” said Soldi, while Lazzati pointed out that “Italian brands have global appeal” and thus her company is focussed “on finding modern solutions to export (its) retail”.


Additionally, the CNCC Research Committee introduced two new analysis techniques for shopping centres to utilize in the future.  We were also given a preview of their research done in partnership with Nomisma on the socio-economic footprint influencing the industry in the region.


It was an all-round interesting and exciting day, defined by the colour and innovation present through the exhibition halls, and the knowledge and expertise of industry pioneers in our conference rooms. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to Day two – we hope you are as well.

About Author

As Head of Social Media for Reed MIDEM, James Martin oversees social strategy and deployment for MIPIM and MAPIC shows, as well as MIPTV/MIPCOM (TV industry) and Midem (music industry). He is based in Reed MIDEM's Paris office.

Comments are closed.