Shopville Gran Reno, the Bologna news of summer 2022 or Global VS Local

Shopville Gran Reno la novità a Bologna dell’estate 2022 ovvero Global VS Local

[button link=” ” icon=”none” target=”” color=”a30b0b” textcolor=”ffffff”]TESTO ITALIANO[/button]

Fortunately and despite everything this autumn the retail world is still and always in turmoil.

Investments, projects and innovation are a key theme in our sector and we at XT are always careful to follow the news and updates.

Shopville Gran Reno the Bologna news of summer 2022 or Global VS Local

The new Shopville Gran Reno

Not for merit but pure chance, being us in the city of Bologna we recorded and observed the retail novelty of summer 2022.  The opening in July of the new Shopville Gran Reno was an event already awaited for some months by insiders. Some of our customers, including for example Bialetti and Guess, were involved in the refurbishment of their stores as early as the end of 2021.

We visited the new shopping center and we already have to note that it was a high-level architectural operation with an interesting urban context. We, who are not really younger, perhaps still consider shopping centers a bit ‘as non-places, according to the definition that gave Marc Augè, or that alienating transit space that is opposed to the “place” anthropized. Motorways, hotel rooms, airports and shopping malls all fall into the category of non-places.

Shopville Gran Reno the Bologna news of summer 2022 or Global VS Local

These public spaces are characterized by their transience and lack of specificity, direct products of global capitalism. These non-places are characterized by the “three figures of excess: the overabundance of events, the spatial overabundance and the individualization of references”. Over the past 30 years, an architectural and sociological effort has been made to overcome the concept of non-place by creating content and relationships within these new spaces of aggregation, making sure that a positive personal and direct experience is created and that these spaces can be perceived as new places of aggregation. The aim of the new Shopville Gran Reno shopping centre is to become a new aggregative hub for both the neighborhood and the city.

Connection to services is essential, as always

A pedestrian bridge connects the shopping center with the station of Casalecchio Palasport and with an extension of the customer parking, in addition to the previous parking area that has been renovated and expanded. The external impact, therefore, is innovative and more attractive, even with the addition of green vertical walls.

Shopville Gran Reno the Bologna news of summer 2022 or Global VS Local

The interior of the center has been enlarged and the new spaces are equipped with large skylights that make the atmosphere diaphanous and very bright. To the two previous levels of stores has been added a third dedicated to food, with different concepts, some more known as Mc Donald and KFC, and other new and interesting such as White Bakery, the America style restaurant 50s, already present in some cities of central Italy, or the inevitable Pokè House, now essential presence in any food proposal.

The big news, fundamental for the Bologna teenagers, is the opening of Primark, with about 4,300 square meters of commercial area and the new proposal of garments from recycled materials.

Our view as retail observers is that we are inevitably experiencing a transformation of shopping malls. Tons of words have been written about the change in consumption, both before the pandemic period and after the lockdown, and inevitably retail has had to adapt to this change.

Shopville Gran Reno the Bologna news of summer 2022 or Global VS Local

The strength of retail and its main superiority over the rise of e-commerce, is the quality of the shopping experience. We have covered this topic in previous articles and this explains the rise of retailtainment, but it would be a mistake to think that shopping centers should focus only on the construction of multiplex cinema or sports activities. The shopping experience is implemented in shopping malls through measures that eliminate the most annoying aspects and make it more pleasant, less stressful and more convenient.

An example can be given by parking assistance services (not surprisingly, those who prefer e-commerce often cites the difficulty of parking among the disadvantages of buying instore), in addition to this for example in the outlet of Serravalle Scrivia there is a car washing service.

Many shopping mall customers appreciate pop-up stores, as they give an element of surprise and variety to the purchase. Knowing that when you visit a shopping mall, you will find a shop or a space that you have never seen before and that will be available only for a limited time is always an invitation to action and a stimulus to curiosity.

However, we want to observe the point of view of customers and especially of those who were born and raised in Bologna, where there is a commercial dynamic that has some specific features within an extremely globalized retail reality, also comparing it with other similar urban situations. If you think that the city of Brescia has reached a very high average commercial area (about 2 square meters per inhabitant of the province), Bologna still lives a particularly interesting hybrid situation. The historic center of the city is still very lively and busy from a commercial point of view, thanks to the increase in tourism in the last 10-15 years. There are still, in main and secondary streets, some small private retail companies and outside the large international chains of stores. Shops and historic shops that still survive thanks to purchases of proximity, but especially thanks to the assisted sale that still manage to guarantee their customers.

We know different commercial realities and we wanted to share our observations with Lucia Guidetti, owner of the GINETTE shop, famous retail reality in the historic center of Bologna, next to San Petronio church.

Lucia, tell us a little about the history of your store and your business:

My store was founded in September 1991, helped by my mom,  already entrepreneur, which allows me to risk in the field of women’s clothing. All this was born from my strong passion for fashion since I was in high school and from a family that has always kept us the way to dress. I opened GINETTE, launching myself on a new genre, a clean style in cuts, colors and accessories, but with something extroverted, maintaining refinement. I have experienced a very difficult, but extraordinary journey of work:  I have received so many doors in my face from the greats of fashion, but I have not given up.

GINETTE store Bologna

I lived the magic moment of fashion, where fashion shows were armored if you were not invited nominally and where in addition to working, fashion offered parties of all kinds with celebrities and models that are still icons, incomparable to today’s world that lives purely on social and does not live the reality of the moment.  Globalization has homologated everything, but fortunately the quality of the product and professionalism is still recognized in our sector, even if, taking away the surprise effect, there is less and less curiosity and less desire to interpret fashion with their own personality.  In 2015 I started a collaboration with Vasco Rossi (thanks to my friendship with his wife Laura) designing and having produced the jackets and belts worn by the artist during his concerts. (Maximum satisfaction the concert of Modena-Park in 2017 with an audience of 220,000 people). Over the years I have dedicated myself to a demanding clientele, but that over time has been faithful, making GINETTE a store where it was possible to create a relationship of trust and complicity in which you can have a “personal shopper”.  To survive in the market you have to take into account many factors such as the taste of customers, select sizes and colors saleable and also evaluate the historical economic moment that creates the context of the sale. In addition, every six months a new total investment, always with a question mark on sales because the goods you buy are on purchase account and inventories are no longer recoverable or saleable for their real value. This is the huge difference compared to shops with different goods ( jewelry, perfumery, household products etc.) that can only supplement the product with a partial investment, which is why they are disappearing all the so-called “historical shops” of clothing.

As an entrepreneur in the retail sector, what do you think and what is your idea of the commercial offer that the city of Bologna offers as shops, both downtown and in shopping centers?

In Bologna the market, like all other cities, has massified and the shopping centers, after a boom in the 2000s, are losing their business volume regarding clothing, but they earn big with food distribution or low-level items. At the end of the day, it’s all about positioning: we at GINETTE believed and positioned ourselves in a high-level market, which takes quality into account but not only. Customer service differentiates us and still keeps us active in a city so diversified from a commercial point of view.

Have you visited or heard anything about the opening of the new Gran Reno shopville in Casalecchio? What do you think about these new formats of shopping malls?

The shift of the production of large brands and also of product “noname” in eastern countries or in those where labor is cheap, has sunk the prestige of the Italian market, filling the historic centers and shopping centers only by large chains, losing the commercial identity that in the past years linked cities to typical products or even just surprise consumers with exclusively local products. In addition to flattening cities we see the same phenomenon in people, in fashion itself. I love my work, and when I see my customers wearing garments purchased in my store with satisfaction I get the strength to fight against these multinational powers; I put the value of my work at the center and try to look forward, because I am convinced that interpersonal relationships are fundamental for every individual and every activity.

We thank Lucia for having expanded our point of view with the representation of the commercial reality that is common in all the historical centers. We can only add that we share with you the hope that the product mix of our cities will remain intact, to the benefit of the different needs of the end customer.

by Simona Fiore XT Retail srl

by AN shopfitting magazine no.171 ©