ICSC has launched the first ever Pan-European Shopping Centre Standard - A Framework for International Comparison, which has been published to help the shopping center industry standardise shopping center terms and definitions across Europe for greater market transparency and efficiency.
Jean Lambert, manager of Global Research at ICSC, said: "The Definition Report will help the increasing number of professionals working across country boundaries in Europe to understand more fully what is meant by a "shopping center" in different countries. As the shopping center industry has grown at different rates in different countries, there has never been a consistent definition even of such basic information such as size and type of scheme, but as our industry grows across borders, especially into Central and Eastern Europe, ICSC feels that it's vital to set pan-European standards to build a valuable data bank of information for the industry to call upon and use."
Dr Arno Ruigrok, Chair of the ICSC European Research Group and Manager of Research and Concepts at AM Development, said: "This is a long-anticipated project which will make a big difference to shopping center professionals wanting to invest and develop across Europe - an area of the world which has seen a significant amount of growth over the last ten years. As the shopping center industry expands into Central and Eastern Europe and more investment comes in from the States, the need for a reliable, central source of information is now more acute than it's ever been."
Rafael Pelote, Market Research Manager at Sonae Sierra in Portugal, said: "I feel this project to be of great importance to the sector. Not only because it will be a facilitator for those who act cross-border on a pan-European level, but it will also increase competitiveness and efficiency. Not to mention the fact that it is an important step towards the development of a sense of community within what has traditionally been a very fragmented European market."
Adrian Owen, shopping center development director at Lar Grosvenor in Spain said: "In the past there has been so much confusion because of the different criteria used to prepare information in different countries. This standardization will make it easier to take decisions. I would recommend this Report to any national or international developer seeking to compare information across countries."
Information for Report has been built up using information provided by ICSC Europe's national councils and other organisations as well as major national and international developers and investors to create a schedule of existing definitions. This information was then assessed and analysed by the ICSC European Research Group who have produced the final report.
Where information on "emerging economies" in areas such as Eastern Europe and Eurasia is less available, ICSC accessed information through the European Research Group members.