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Retail Markets
Neighborhood Shopping Center
Regional Shopping-Center
Arcades / Galleries
Centers at Airports
Centers in Rail Stations
Trading space
Sales space
Definition of terms

In contrast to the various characteristic forms of shopping and business precincts which have grown up in cities and suburban districts, the term “shopping center” is taken to denote a deliberately planned and developed “artificial” concentration of retail outlets and service company premises – managed and operated as a unified entity. Shopping centers thus involve a cooperative system within the retail trade.

The generally accepted definition of this specialized form of commerce is that applied by the Urban Land Institute, Washington, which has also been used for many years by the International Council of Shopping Centers, New York:

“A group of retail or other commercial establishments that is planned, developed, owned and managed as a single property. On-site parking is provided. The center’s size and orientation are generally determined by the market characteristics of the trade area served by the center. The two main configurations of shopping centers are malls and open-air strip centers.”

Specialty Retail Markets / Retail Parks
“Fachmarktzentren” or specialty retail markets, have considerably gained in importance in Germany over recent years.

The distinction between these markets and classical shopping centers lies particularly in the composition of the retail companies occupying the premises, and the dominance of those rental occupants with a consumer-magnet function. These normally consist of discount stores covering various market segments; many are self-service stores with the objective of attracting larger volumes of customers. The specialty retail markets are frequently complemented by shop avenues, restaurants and services.

Specialty retail markets are normally situated on the perimeters of cities with particular ease of road access. In comparison with traditional shopping centers, they involve relatively low construction costs and employ straightforward, less sophisticated interior and exterior design. Predominantly single-story in construction, the markets usually have open parking lots at ground level.

A factory outlet center is a grouping of a large number of brand-name manufacturers' outlets at the same location, where each manufacturer rents its own separate retail unit, an outlet store, offering its own products directly to consumers at reduced prices. Generally, this retail structure is supplemented by additional retailers, such as off-price retailers, licensed dealers, resellers, catering establishments and recreational facilities.

In contrast to a traditional shopping center, which is an agglomeration of retail companies and miscellaneous service companies offering products for short-term, medium-term and long-term consumption, a factory outlet center is primarily an association of manufacturers of brand-name products in the categories clothing, shoes, leather goods and household goods, including glass and chinaware.

Off-price centers are closely related to factory outlet centers. The tenants are off-price retailers, in other words traditional retail sales companies. The individual stores in an off-price center are generally smaller than those in a factory outlet center, with an average shop size of around 95 m². The analysis of existing European outlet malls reveals that they are often mixed, in that they contain both factory outlets and off-price retailers.

Urban entertainment centers involve a combination of entertainment, adventure, shopping and communication, seeking to exploit their synergistic effect. The most appropriate locations are inner-city sites capable of attracting tourists as well as regular local visitors with the necessary purchasing potential. The components of an urban entertainment center include recreation-oriented retail outlets (merchandising), as well as various forms of entertainment and recreation (multiplex cinemas, family entertainment centers, musical theaters and theme-based restaurant concepts).

Neighborhood Shopping Centers
The neighborhood center supplies a relatively circumscribed catchment area with everyday commodities and supplementary services. A supermarket or large chain store commonly functions as its central magnet. Since a substantial proportion of customers reach this type of shopping center on foot, the relation between parking space and total sales area is generally lower than in the case of larger shopping centers. Neighborhood centers range in size from 3,000 to 8,000 square meters.

Regional Shopping-Center
A regional shopping center normally has a large catchment area. Characterized by a high degree of quantitative and qualitative centralization, a regional shopping center offers a wide spectrum of commodities and services.

In addition to numerous specialty retail stores, services and restaurants, major chain-store companies and department stores, as well as self-service stores for household goods, furnishings and DIY equipment, etc., generally maintain outlets and function as magnets. The location of a regional shopping center is particularly influenced by the traffic infrastructure, or the ease of consumer access. Sufficient parking space is of prime importance. In Germany, we categorize centers with at least 15,000 square meters of sales area as regional shopping centers.

In the search for extensions to existing inner-city shopping precincts, but also as complements to pedestrian zones, numerous further inner-city shopping opportunities have been developed in recent years, primarily in the form of arcades, galleries and covered interior “courts”. There are presently around 500 such arcades and galleries in Germany. An arcade is a special type of shopping center incorporating smaller and medium-sized retail outlets, restaurants and services, offering high-end products and interior design aimed at satisfying more sophisticated tastes.

Shopping Centers at Airports
At airports, non-aviation activities are rapidly gaining in importance. Conference facilities, retail outlets, restaurants and leisure opportunities are expanding, complementing the product spectrum available at airports, thereby enhancing their competitive profile. The target groups addressed by airport retailers are not only comprised of airline passengers, but also include airport employees, daily visitors, people who work in the airport’s vicinity, and local consumers.

Major airports in particular have recognized the importance of airport retailing, and exploit the large numbers of visitors as well as the deregulated, more liberal shop-opening times. For airport operators, higher rental rates and space utilization are often relativised by increased incidental costs. Key factors are passenger stop-over time and highly differentiated customer demands. In addition to national and international retail products, shopping centers at airports commonly feature a range of specifically regional products (local flair).

Shopping Centers in Rail Stations
A special form of shopping center is the center integrated within a rail station. In the course of modernization and revitalization of rail stations, new shopping centers have arisen, many in the very heart of the city. New shopping concepts address both the specific needs of travelers and those of local consumers.

Trading space
The Catalogue E “Begriffsdefinitionen aus der Handels- und Absatzwirtschaft“ (Definition of terms of the commercial and distributive trade) of The Institute for Trade Research at the University of Cologne defines the trading space of a commercial enterprise as the entire space used for business purposes, which also includes sales, exhibition, storage, dispatch, office and rest rooms, as well as open spaces such as a yard where material is stored or other storage places. Car parks, however, are not included in the trading space.

So the trading space differs from the sales space in that it includes storage, dispatch, office and rest rooms besides the sales space.

Sales space
In Catalogue E of The Institute for Trade Research at the University of Cologne the sales space of a commercial enterprise is the space used for the sale of goods, including corridors, stairs, space for furnishings, shop windows and open space as far as it is not accessible by the customers. It also includes open space which is not only temporarily used for sales purposes.


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