International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) invited me to the Asia Expo 2007 to give a speech about the opportunities lay in ASEAN on July 18, 2007, and shopping center is one of the great opportunities that lay in ASEAN. Why?
ASEAN is on their way toward ASEAN single market, and with the 550 million total population and increasing GDP, there will be no more doubt that big opportunities lay on shopping center. More over, the shopping center especially will attract tourists and investors from all over the world to come visiting ASEAN. That’s why some people say that shopping center is the world of opportunity.
The next coming question is how we can build attractive shopping center. I found three factors that been faced by shopping center in ASEAN to compete in the future: Location, Tenant Mix, and Shoppers. What we shall do to be competitive to attract visitors and shoppers (moreover tenants)? And, I have named three strategic choices for shopping mall to compete: Community shopping center, Iconic shopping center, and Thematic shopping center.
Community shopping center is shopping center located in residential area, dominated by local brands, and targeted at traditional shoppers. This shopping center is usually located near to citizen activity. Iconic shopping center is shopping center located in prime area, dominated by global brands, and targeted at future shoppers. This shopping center should be positioned as a landmark shopping. What if we can’t become either the iconic or community shopping center? The only way to compete is to become a thematic shopping center, a shopping center that can be at anywhere, dominated by regional brands, and targeted at segmented shoppers.
Whatever choice that a shopping center taken, it must be strengthen by a solid differentiation in term of the contexts and contents. We shall not claimed that our shopping center is a thematic ones but has no thematic uniqueness at all compare to other malls. Contexts and contents of differentiation will create an integrity to the mall's positioning. That's marketing all about actually.
Through those strategic initiative choices, the shopping center will become truly world of great opportunities.
- At ICSC -