What Ukrainian developers should do – practical advice
Evgenia Loktionova, Director of the UTG company
Currently, all developers in Ukraine are faced with a situation of a sharp decrease in the number of trade operators and freeing up space in shopping centers. The number of examples of shopping centers that have lost tenants and do not generate income is constantly increasing. And despite the fact that most shopping center management companies are waiting for the war to end and everything to settle down, it is necessary to act now. Taking into account the rich experience of the crisis exits, the UTG company has developed a working algorithm of successive steps that will help developers of commercial real estate stabilize the situation and start filling vacant spaces. For this, it is necessary to perform the following series of actions.
1. To begin with, you can cut empty spaces and look for ways to replace the tenant as soon as possible. Even if there is such an opportunity and the space allows, you can hire a temporary tenant.
2. To think about expanding the pool of economy-class stores, including through the products of regional and local manufacturers. In the framework of which you can go for joint development with strategic partners-producers of a democratic assortment - so-called joint retail projects.
3. If it is not possible to use the areas for some other formats, then it is worth thinking about changing the purpose of the areas, for example, setting up a restaurant or cafe. When it is impossible to set up a restaurant, hold fairs.
4. If it is impossible to fill in as it is, attendance does not increase, then we change the purpose of the object and the format of commercial real estate. Accordingly, we are trying to attract other operators, expand the segment and make targeted visits. This is exactly what we are doing now with the Promenada Center SEC, which is becoming an outlet center. All the more so as Ukraine is currently witnessing a mass resettlement of consumers and a decrease in their purchasing power.
5. One way or another, it is desirable for developers to return to manual management and an individual approach to each tenant and to attract personnel who understand the structure of the trade margin for individual stores and can quickly and efficiently negotiate with chains.
6. Against the background of all activities, it is extremely necessary to continue conducting research: analysis of competitors and buyers of the shopping center. We see that there is an internal movement of people in Ukraine, so it is very important to analyze and study the change in the demand of regular and potential customers. Then develop a marketing strategy, taking into account which marketing tools of the shopping center work in a crisis, and which do not. For example, after finding out what consumers are interested in now: food, discounts, fast food or investment purchases, you need to focus on a balanced assortment/pool of tenants that meets the requirements of consumers at that moment.
Summarizing all of the above, it can be noted that currently all types of business are gaining new experience of survival in extreme conditions, when the tools that worked well before have become practically useless. Therefore, it is practical steps to respond to changes in a timely manner that are most relevant.