Recently recruited to the Klépierre Development Department, a specialist in European retail real estate, Vincent Sade (Master of Science in Management / Market Finance 2009) unveils the strategies underway in this rapidly changing sector.
What is your job at Klépierre?
The Klépierre group is constantly improving the attractiveness of the shopping centres it owns and manages. I am responsible for overseeing development projects in France and Europe. In addition to bringing together the various stakeholders (administration, contractors, architects, etc.), I also decide which signs will be present in the shopping centres. With my teams in France and Europe, I make sure that everything runs smoothly.
A new position is always a little stressful, isn’t it?
Each company has its own culture and personalities. To be credible, you have to focus on team members, determine their talents and create an environment in which they can be implemented.
Your goal in the first 100 days?
To build an operational team, to know who I can count on for which projects, and to ascertain the skills of each member. After 100 days, you need a solid structure that can continue to improve over time.
The distribution sector has been turned upside down with the arrival of the Internet, what are the evolutions in progress?
Today, there are two trends that are emerging. On the one hand, traditional shopping centres seek to survive by combining practicality (parking for consumers, wide choice of shops under one roof) and the cheapest prices. The recent arrival and success of Primark or Costco on the French market is an example of this. On the other hand, an increasing number of high-street stores rely on product quality and customer experience to differentiate themselves from the Internet. Proximity and quality are the key words. The Internet means we have to be inventive. Shopping centres must recreate a unique customer experience or consumers will always prefer the speed and ease of the Internet. We need to multiply “Drive-to-Store” strategies in order to attract consumers using mobile technologies, and create showrooms in partnership with pure-players. Shopping centres must be reinvented if they are to survive.
How did emlyon business school help you on your journey?
The school provides the methodology and a rigour to develop thought. We learn how to summarise and be concise, which is very important in the business world.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
Steve Jobs biography. It is interesting to understand his visionary capacity and how he achieved such success by focusing on improving people's everyday lives.