SES Spar European Shopping Centers


SES Survey: Brick-and-mortar Retail is a Key Provider of Local Jobs

In-store Shopping Remains Highly Popular

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Shopping within the brick-and-mortar retail sector

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The pre-Christmas period is the busiest time of the year for retailers. In the wake of the coronavirus-related loss of the spring season, brick-and-mortar retailers, which employ hundreds of thousands of people, are focusing all the more intensively on the weeks leading up to Christmas. In a representative survey conducted by the Linz Market Institute, SES Spar European Shopping Centers collected data from the Austrian public regarding their attitudes toward brick-and-mortar retail. The most important result: For the vast majority of the Austrian population, stationary retail trade is of great importance. The negative influence of multinational online retail platforms, combined with the loss of jobs, the decline in purchasing power, and adverse effects on the cityscape have become increasingly apparent.

A recently conducted study of 1,000 respondents across Austria by the Linz Market Institute, on behalf of SES Spar European Shopping Centers, has underscored the enormous importance of brick-and-mortar retail in our country: 65 percent of those surveyed consider brick-and-mortar retail to be important and, more significantly, a major employer and taxpayer. Cleanliness, security, parking spaces, shop mix, inspiration, and customer service are the factors that Austrian consumers particularly appreciate about brick-and-mortar retail.

Awareness of the Adverse Effects of Online Retail on Personal Environments is High
Four out of five Austrians regard the consequences of shopping on online platforms as problematic, particularly in terms of job losses and the decline in purchasing power. In fact, 40 percent of those surveyed have been personally affected, or their immediate personal environments have been impacted, by the fact that jobs have been lost as a result of the weakening of brick-and-mortar retail and the strengthening of online retail.

Likewise, four out of five respondents see a negative development in the weakening of stationary retail trade in shopping streets and shopping centers and the associated change in the future urban and street scene.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed are aware of the lower tax revenue generated by large foreign online platforms in Austria. Some 90 percent of those polled consider that fact to be problematic. Poor working conditions and the related environmentally damaging transport of parcels are also a thorn in the side of many consumers.

Times of Crisis Strengthen the Spirit of Solidarity
“The results of this representative survey are in line with what we have personally experienced at our shopping centers,” explains Marcus Wild, CEO of SES Spar European Shopping Centers. “Even though the freedom of movement has been somewhat restricted throughout the coronavirus crisis, many consumers are aware that shopping at brick-and-mortar stores is not only associated with good customer service, especially during the Christmas season, but that it also secures jobs and strengthens purchasing power in the country. This bond and spirit of solidarity, as well as the early start of the Christmas shopping season at our malls, are positive signs that give us reasons to be cautiously optimistic, despite the numerous remaining uncertainties." According to the current study, approximately 10 percent of those surveyed stated that they began to do their Christmas shopping in September of this year – or even earlier.

SES Spar European Shopping Centers
SES is a developer, builder, and operator of shopping centers in six countries. The company currently manages 29 shopping destinations in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe with over 1,800 shop partners on a leasable area (GLA) of more than 820,000 square meters. SES is the market leader in Austria and Slovenia for large-scale shopping places. In 2019, tenants at SES locations generated gross sales of 2.83 billion euros. More than 112 million people visited the SES centers in the previous year. SES also offers its know-how in the areas of project development, construction management, leasing of shop space, as well as center and facility management to external owners of shopping malls right from the outset. SES centers have already received several national and international awards for architecture and design, sustainability, traffic flow concepts, and innovative marketing. SES is part of the SPAR Austria Group.

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Mag. Marcus Wild CEO SES Spar European Shopping Centers

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Claudia Streitwieser-
Head of Public Relations

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