Traditional Stores Still More Popular Than Online Shops

Retail

The rise of e-commerce solutions has led many in the retail industry to believe that traditional stores are on the way out, but shoppers seem to think otherwise and are not willing to give up the experience they can only have in a shopping mall. Demands and expectations are constantly changing, and visitors are increasingly looking for a more complex experience that includes shopping, entertainment, and leisure.

According to the data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), the volume of retail trade decreased by 7.6% in July this year, with a slightly milder decline of 5.5% in the non-food segment compared to the same period of the previous year.

According to a summary of GKID market research, the online retail market in Hungary generated a turnover of HUF 1.323 trillion in 2022, but the sector's momentum has been steadily declining as the year progressed: while the first three months of the year saw a 23% increase, the fourth quarter, the key period, saw growth of only 4%. Overall, the market expanded by 9.9% last year, but the report shows that this is down in 2021 when inflation is taken into account.

Despite the rise of online stores, traditional shops still account for the bulk of sales, partly because some goods are simply not practical to sell via online stores and shoppers are not giving up on encounters and personal experiences. The results of a joint survey by Reacty Digital and olcsobbat.hu after the epidemic has subsided also confirm that shoppers are sticking to traditional shops. While there was a wide variation across age groups, 56% of respondents who had ordered online in the previous year said they preferred to shop in-store when they could because they wanted to have an experience.

Experts at Icon, which operates several retail properties in addition to the MOM Park in Buda's downtown district, believe that the shopping center of the future will be successful if it becomes a central place for shopping, entertainment, and leisure, offering visitors a complete experience. An excellent example of this is the company's MOM Park, a meeting point where new and returning visitors can enjoy a range of exclusive brands, unique programs, art exhibitions, and shopping-themed days, with a focus on quality shops and services, and culinary delights.

"Managing a premium shopping center is a challenge in itself, especially for an iconic property like MOM Park. It has to cater to the diverse needs of a discerning clientele, tenants often representing prestige brands and the suppliers who support their operations. All this to a consistently high standard, but with the technical operation of the property constantly adapted to seasonal, promotional and weather fluctuations. More complex processes require more communication and attention from all parties involved," says Zsolt Kákosy senior director, property management at Icon.

"This is why, for the past year, Icon has been providing facility management services alongside property management as an industry best practice, maximizing the benefits of collaboration between the two areas. Our aim is to ensure that visitors can concentrate on shopping and entertainment in a pleasant atmosphere, free from distractions. This is in line with the expectations of both tenants and owners," he adds.

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