This year MAPIC conference gathered 5.000 participants and 1.600 retail, leisure, food players from 75 countries. One again, Cannes welcomed his visitors with its traditional French chic, with already installed Christmas outdoor boutiques, as this year’s conference went from November 28th  and through December 2nd. This year’s conference theme was purposely anchored around leisure (conference motto was LeisureUp), as leisure –  a balanced mix of entertaining food venues and experiential approach to retail – represents one of the real estate industry most quintessential response to us getting out of the pandemic and facing new societal challenges in terms of interaction, habits and values.

One strong example of this emerging approach to the post pandemic era has been supplied by Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group, which includes IKEA Retail and Ingka Investments. The Group unveiled its new global food and beverage concept, Saluhall, at MAPIC. Named after the Scandinavian-style market hall, Saluhall will offer F&B “with a Nordic twist” and be predominantly plant-based, said Stéphane Keulian, F&B concept development leader at Ingka Centres. The launch of the Saluhall concept builds on Ingka Centres’ recent track record of innovative investments, including the Circuit sustainability concept and Hej! Workshop co-working space in Sweden and Light by Livat work-live units in China. Saluhall will require all vendors to subscribe to a manifesto and guiding principles that favour plant-based options, regenerative agriculture, seasonal and local ingredients. The menu will be 80% plant-based at launch, 60% local operators, 40% Nordic inspired cuisine and with zero waste to landfill and zero single-plastic usage. Saluhall will also be Ingka Centres’ first food-hall concept that will not sell beef.

Global fashion brand DeFacto, an exhibitor at the conference, has its own response to the post-pandemic challenges. While reporting rapid growth for 2022 – the brand is now operating 500 stores in five continents and e-commerce channels in 93 countries, including 12 European countries – the company stated the aim of continuing “to offer its customers luxury at competitive prices, expanding rapidly with the mission to operate in 180 countries by 2027” by expanding its network of 34 franchise stores in 13 countries, boosting its investment growth further through company’s “new generation franchise model”. By this approach, all processes associated with franchising will fall under DeFacto’s framework of “360-degree operational excellence – to ensure a consistent, quality shopping experience across the franchises globally”. At the core of this strategy is DeFacto’s active involvement in the end-to-end franchising process, from finding the space and construction, to product selection, planning, pricing, and operational efficiency processes. DeFacto aims to expand its franchise channel by 300% in three years. DeFacto general manager, Serdar Ersoy, said. “Expansion and franchise by DeFacto aim to help these businesses function as though they are a stand-alone company, managed with its own dynamism.”

The conference key 2022 industry insights are compelling:

  • Sustainability is at the heart of the next generation retail
  • ESG and sustainability are the new industry key driver
  • New flexible business models and retail formats to reinvent
  • More synergies between leisure & retail to enhance visitors experience

We look forward to participate next year in MAPIC annual conference as Moldova’s only participant.