In spite of global economic threats and of enduring difficulties in local market, there are few Italian companies performing outstanding results. Among them, Cogest Italia and Mall System deserve a mention in the retail real estate business.
Cogest Italia, a company specialized in property and facility management, has recently announced the opening of four new shopping centers: Continente Mapello (24,000 m² of GLA, 60 stores ) near Bergamo, Galleria Borromea (27,500 m², 100 store) in Milan outskirts, Settimo Cielo Retail Park (first tranche of a total of 80,000 m², 100 stores scheme) near Turin, and La Fortezza (21,779 m², 75 stores) in Ragusa.
This brings its portfolio to a total of 47 malls and makes of Cogest a leader in the Italian market. The company's top ranking is not only a matter of quantity: Cogest gained 27 international awards for projects successfully carried out by its malls in consumer, business and local government relations. The latest award was won, on December 13th, by La Corte Lombarda shopping center, for an innovative Consumer & Advertising Campaign combining in store and on-line events.
In the pipeline
But it's not all. Mall System, the leasing company controlled by Cogest, has 11 projects in the pipeline. Two of these are scheduled to open in 2012: Il Sipario (Avellino, 14,000 m² of GLA, 60 stores) and PR Parma retail (lifestyle shopping center with a GLA of 42,000 m² and 84 stores).
Finally, to further improve its property management performances, Cogest has announced the upgrading of two strategic areas: Research & Analysis and Marketing. Research & Analysis strengthens to increase and to optimize the mass of information sourced from the malls, with the aim to provide Cogest and its clients (developers, properties, funds) with in depth analysis of consumer and market trends. Cogest's Marketing office splits in three highly skilled divisions: one supporting the shopping centers in their communication / promotion planning, one focusing on corporate activities and media relations, and the latest specializing on pop-up retail and promotion projects in the malls.
Innovation is a key-word for the Group
Among recent openings, two deserve a special mention.
Galleria Borromea, a prime rated center developed by Promocentro Italia, was opened on November 24th, in a densely populated area at the doors of Milan. Anchored by a Coop hypermarket, this center provides an attractive shopping destination and a meeting point for neighboring cities and the southern part of Milan. Its offer is qualified by a selection of top international brands, including C&A, Deichmann, Footlocker, Calvin Klein Jeans, Celio, Champion, Levi's, Du Pareil au Même, Sergent Major, Tommy Hilfiger, Douglas, Histoire d'Or, Clark's, Lindt
Settimo Cielo Retail Park & Shopping Center was selected as one of the most innovative schemes in Italy and presented to the international shopping centers community at Mapic 2011. Settimo Cielo focuses on green technologies to provide a qualifying location to brands willing to develop in one of the richest basins in Italy, with over 1.5 million inhabitants in the 30 minutes isochrone. Its more distinctive feature is the synergic integration of different shopping formats: a retail park and a shopping & leisure center. The first tranche of the retail park, opened on December 1st, includes 10 mid-sized and big-box stores such as Decathlon, Jysk, Casa.