Country Spotlight: Germany

The city of Sulzbach wrote history in 1964 with the opening of the Main-Taunus-Zentrum shopping center.  The shopping center was a direct copy of the American model and was one of the first shopping centers in Germany.

The immediate proximity to Frankfurt and the novelty of the shopping experience led to good visitor numbers. The Main-Taunus-Center still exists but it has developed massively. The initial 40,000 square meters of sales area has now multiplied to become 91,000. The Main-Taunus-Zentrum is now the third largest shopping center in Germany – after the Oberhausen CentrO and the Chemnitz Center.

As novel as it seemed, the mall was not the first retail offering to exist. Covered shopping arcades had developed in the early 19th century from the inner-city trading yards and market halls of the Middle Ages. These shopping arcades were the forerunners of shopping centers as we know them today.

Green meadow v’s integrated shopping centers

The effective advantage of such integrated shopping centers is obvious: different providers of different products and services are gathered in one place. In addition, usually the parking situation is very cheap and highly convenient – in contrast to most inner cities where the customer relies on expensive and often overcrowded parking garages.

A well-balanced mix of tenants such as, leisure facilities, F&B and commercialisation units are often integrated within larger shopping centers such as indoor playgrounds or cinemas. This versatility means that each trip to the center can be derived from a variety of needs, not necessarily from the sole desire of a purchase.

Shopping center development is  still booming

Regardless of whether shopping centers are being built in a city center or in a more intimate location: the concept of the shopping center works and is still being developed. Over the last 30 years, since reunification, new buildings in the surrounding area have sprouted like mushrooms and this has included an impressive increase in shopping center real estate. There were 93 shopping centers in 1990, 179 five years later and 279 in 2000. In the last ten years alone, 100 new shopping centers have been opened; currently, there are 463 and by 2021, it is predicted at least 40 more will be added.

Shopping centers are getting bigger

The average size of newly opened shopping centers has risen: in 2013 it was 24,000, compared to 40,000 square meters last year. If a shopping center is larger than 100,000 square meters, this is called a megacenter. There are currently three mega-centers in Germany, the third only recently added in the capital, the “LP12 Mall of Berlin“, which was opened in 2014 and is now the largest mall in Berlin boasting over 270 shops. Being located in Potsdamer Platz, surrounded by historic tourist attractions and convenient public transport links, the center attracts high footfall volumes.

Specialising in the German market, it is exciting to see not only the volume of development but the sheer pace of this development and growth. If you are looking to grow your team or looking for a new opportunity, please get in touch to discuss how we can assist.

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