Nemanja Bućinac, Retail Leasing Director, MPC Properties

Changing With The Times

UŠĆE Shopping Center has been the market leader for over 13 years. In order to retain this position, UŠĆE is preparing for a major redevelopment. This renovation project will focus primarily on new and innovative formats

Here MPC Properties Retail Leasing Director Nemanja Bućinac reveals the upcoming new look of UŠĆE Shopping Center and announces a new mobile loyalty platform called Tvoj Centar, as well as new contents, offers and amenities. He also adresses the topic of the future of shopping.

Are more customers shopping online today? What is the current ratio of online vs. brick-andmortar sales in Serbia?

The market itself has become more challenging, with the online market still in the consolidation phase, while the offline one still holds first place and has great potential to develop further. However, the offline market is also experiencing transformation and is moving towards more content-rich shopping destinations and an improved user experience.

MPC Properties

The consumer is today at the heart of every business more than ever before. In numbers, around 10 to 15% of all sales are delivered via different e-commerce platforms, while 85 – 90% are in brick-andmortar stores. Shopping is a journey, a unique experience, a combination of interactions that gives you pleasure. You cannot experience that while shopping online, becouse online sales and e-commerce platforms lack strong emotional and social triggers that are integral to any physical shopping experience.

You recently announced a major renovation of the UŠĆE Shopping Center. What does that mean for your customers and the market as a whole?

We would like to pioneer some of the latest retail trends, refresh our interior design and architecture, further focus on building a stronger community and better connect with the nature surrounding the centre. One part of the centre will provide more open areas overlooking some of Belgrade’s most famous historic sites, as well as its two rivers.

The UŠĆE Shopping Center renovation project will focus primarily on new and innovative formats, improvements to our food and beverage offer and amenities, as well as to safety and overall convenience. This is how we intend to create a multi-purpose environment, which represents the future of the retail industry.

When it comes to the food and beverage offer at UŠĆE Shopping Center, I can say that a true renaissance is coming. A new generation of food and beverage options will bring us some exciting changes.

F&B formats will include a quality offer of both fine dining and fast food, with outdoor seating areas providing memorable cityscape views. By doing this, our intention is to truly entertain our customers and, of course, increase the time they spend with us.

Besides the upgraded F&B offer, we will enrich our shopping mall with many more leisure and entertainment concepts, in order to create chillout and relaxation zones for kids, families and businesspeople. The interior of the mall will become far brighter, while the new multipurpose spaces will bring new possibilities for different events and promotions, such as food fairs, concerts, theatres or home décor installations.

What do you do to embrace changing retail trends and consumer behaviour?

Both shopping centres and retailers cannot simply rely on traditional sales methods, but rather need to focus on finding innovative ways to engage their customers and find solutions that would be fun and enjoyable. In order for that to happen, we must provide certain benefits to our customers. MPC Properties – as a company that operates not only shopping malls, but also office buildings – has launched its own mobile loyalty platform called Tvoj Centar. We decided to combine our four shopping centres – UŠĆE, Beo, Mercator and Delta City – into one very exciting digital shopping destination.

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