There are exactly 479 shopping centers in Germany. Many of them are currently preparing for the future with modernizations. Because more service and worlds of experience are in demand.

The Loom shopping center in Bielefeld, which opened last fall, cost 135 million euros. The aim of Alexander Otto, CEO of the center operator ECE is clear: “The Loom is not only setting new accents in terms of urban development and architecture. Visitors can look forward to unique shopping experiences including an extensive range of digital and innovative services”. Customers can expect free WiFi, a selfie photo box, cell phone charging stations, lounge areas and a customer Information with staff.

For families there are extra wide parking spaces, mother-child toilets with changing facilities, nursing rooms, a service corner in the food court with microwave and bottle warmer as well as a large children’s play area. The digital 3D guidance system and indoor navigation via Google Maps on the smartphone provide orientation. There are also activities such as the handicraft room for Mother’s Day gifts, performances by a magician or the Children’s Day.

479 shopping centers attract customers in Germany

Shopping centers set accents with services and promotions like these. And set themselves apart positively from online trading. From two centers in 1965 to 479 shopping centers this year, the number of shopping temples has developed. The total area is almost 15.5 million square meters. That makes an average of 32,200 square meters per shopping center. The boom had weakened in recent years. However, experts at the Cologne Retail Research Institute (EHI) expect growth again in the current year. In addition, numerous restructurings, modernizations and expansions of existing shopping centers are being carried out. “After a short time period of deceleration, the shopping center market is picking up again,” explains Marco Atzberger, member of the EHI management board.

Eight new stores to be openend in 2018

Eight new stores are scheduled to open over the next few months. These include the East Side Mall in Berlin and the Forum Schwanthalerhöhe in Munich. This shows that the centers are moving to the city center. Of the 65 centers that were added in the years 2010 to 2017, 79 percent are located in city centers. 15 percent were built in district centers and only six percent in suburban areas or on greenfield sites.

Many shopping centers invest in restructuring and modernization

Existing shopping centers are investing heavily in order to remain competitive. According to EHI, 46 shopping malls are planning major restructuring or modernization. For example, the Hessen-Center in Frankfurt is currently being redesigned for 45 million euros until the end of 2019. The measures include extensive upgrading of the mall design, demolition and new construction of the parking decks, improved equipment and many additional services for customers: for example new seating areas and an optimized signposting system. The success of such measures to increase attractiveness proves the center operators right. On the opening day of the Loom in Bielefeld, around 100,000 visitors flocked to the new Westphalian shopping center. In the first hundred days, 3.7 million people came.

Cooking events and children’s paradises strengthen the USP

Extraordinary and target Group specific ideas ensure satisfied customers in the shopping centers. The Centro in Oberhausen attracts Christmas shoppers every year with three lovingly designed Christmas markets and an elaborate decoration of the center. The Centrolino children’s park designed by Ravensburger enjoys great popularity all year round. Children are professionally looked aftere up to to three hours.

Fashion shopping centers like Braun in Moers rely on the personal shoppers who advise customers. Breuninger makes a name for itself with spectacular events such as a top-class kitchen party in Stuttgart’s flagship store. The six starred chefs Tim Raue, Roland Trettl, Frank Rosin, Denis Feix, Rolf Straubinger, Serkan Gücelcoban and four other top chefs delighted around 1,000 guests. Holger Blecker, Chairman of the Breuninger Management Board: “Breuninger stands for fashion, food and lifestyle. It was only logical that we should bring this together in a special event.”

Kochevent bei Breuninger
Cooking Event at Breuninger


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Image: ECE