MAPIC Hits Post-Recession High With Attendance, Has Plans for India

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Nov. 15, 2015’s Paris terror attacks impacted attendance at last year’s MAPIC, the annual international retail property trade show in Cannes, with 8,000 attendees descending on the French Riviera. This year, that number is 8,300, the highest sum since attendance hit a record low of 6,800 in 2009 after The Great Recession (which officially ended in June 2009), according to a spokeswoman for MAPIC.

The top three countries represented at MAPIC this year, which is in its second day at Palais des Festivals, are France with 3,000 attendees, Italy with 1,000 and the U.K. with 800 (the U.S. is in ninth place with 260 attendees), Nathalie Depetro, the director of MAPIC, told Commercial Observer. There are roughly 700 exhibitors this year, of which 98 are new, Depetro said.

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“2008 was a watershed for the retail real estate industry, along with international business in general,” Depetro said in explaining the current surge after a few years of flagging interest. “Following the global economic meltdown, the retail and retail real estate [sectors] entered a phase of change and development, often powered by the reality of the high street and the rapid development of online retailing. MAPIC has accompanied this change and often anticipated it. The record numbers of delegates we see this year reflects that work. In particular, the internationalization of the event has contributed to the growth of MAPIC as it has brought an increasing number of retail brands to Cannes in search of international expansion opportunities.”

Scenes from MAPIC.
Scenes from MAPIC. (Courtesy MAPIC)

Depetro also announced yesterday that MAPIC—in its 22nd year in Cannes—is launching in India next September through an acquisition of India Retail Forum, an event serving the Indian retail real estate market.

Depetro said that she is seeing an “important appetite for India” from international players. She cited New York-based Blackstone (BX) Group as an example. As has been reported, the global private equity giant has entered India’s retail market with the purchase of four malls and the recent establishment of a platform, called Nexus Malls, to house all of its Indian mall properties.

Technology has also played a role in the interest in the conference. “Digital has also proved a powerful driver for growth at MAPIC,” Depetro explained. “The number of online retailers continues to increase and we have been active in our efforts to bring tech startup companies to the event as these are the people that are providing innovative solutions to the retail real estate industry. [Also,] MAPIC’s all-inclusive footprint means that it welcomes more and more companies that are pioneers in the new retail world such as pop-up store specialists and retailtainment innovators.”