Massimo Roj speaker at the first edition of the RREM in Shanghai

On June 11th and 12th, Shanghai hosted the very first edition in Mainland China of RREM, the Retail Real Estate Market forum powered by Mapic, the largest international retail property market event worldwide. The Shanghai edition was joined by many well-known representatives of the retail sector, from international retailers to developers and designers.

Massimo Roj, Global CEO and Founder of Progetto CMR, was invited as speaker to the “Shaping the new Chinese retail estate era – Smart experiences!” session. During his speech, he offered an historic overview of the evolution of the retail and shopping concepts through the last centuries, from the ancient Mesopotamians and Greeks to our days. What Roj stressed the most is how the retail experience has undergone a tremendous transformation, from the public open-air city square with small shops and workshops to the huge shopping malls in the United States and to the new virtual world of the online shopping. How can the traditional offline shopping experience survive the advance of its online counterpart? “Malls need to move towards a different direction, when today’s customers visit malls, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond traditional shopping. Innovative malls are incorporating value-added elements that provide a level of leisure and entertainment that can never be satisfied online” said Massimo Roj. However, it is equally important to revitalize the city squares and public spaces, to allow them regain their role as the space of social and entertaining activities, by investing in retail projects inside the cities and not only in “big closed boxes” located in the suburbs, far from where people actually live. This should be the new approach for the future of the shopping dimension, which should be shaped on the role the ancient square had in old times.