New year, positive prospects!

With Christmas being by far the most important season in retail, it is also the time when firms activate their carefully laid plans for 2014. Christmas Day has also become the only day off in the (bricks and mortar) retail calendar – worth reflecting on today, Christmas Eve, so we raise a glass to all those that command the shop floor and distribution warehouse… Bravo!

The new year has positive prospects for us all, much more than in the last few years. There are clear signs of activity in those markets once seen and neglected as weak. Secondary tier centres and centres in those countries hit hardest by the Euro crisis have witnessed investment and asset management activity. There is great potential and value to be realised in both, so long as we heed the changing nature and requirements of the consumer and capital markets, and how to embrace and harness online. All this is possible.

Super-prime – the preserve of the established and global players – is reassuringly buoyant. Here we see confident leadership and exploration from the big firms. Innovation is the name of the game, and you only need to visit one of these dominant centres to see why this asset class continues to grow in strength.

The final area to note is collaboration and network. ICSC Europe’s Next Generation platform has laid out its foundations for 2014, and we should all expect good things. Through their Country teams, superb opportunities exist for our next generation of professionals, regardless of background or specialism. There is confident and comprehensive planning being shown by the management team, which is most welcome. This industry is close knit, and most importantly open to new ideas. Collaboration and support across Europe will most certainly be the watchword for 2014, and will help to keep us all sharp and on top of our game.

Happy Christmas, best wishes for a prosperous New Year, and good luck with all your carefully laid plans for 2014!

Dan Innes, Managing Director

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