Dirk Hünerbein

Fresh Ideas for Saturated Markets

From Shopping to Adventure Center

As Head of Retail, Dirk Hünerbein is responsible for retail projects at the Drees & Sommer Group.

Quell: shutterstock

Dirk Hü­ner­bein ex­pects that the re­tail tra­de its­elf and buil­dings will need to chan­ge con­sider­ab­ly in the fu­ture in or­der to of­fer custo­mers a sus­tai­n­a­ble shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence with the cha­rac­ter of an event. He al­so em­pha­si­zes the need for a re­gio­nal con­text in an in­crea­singly glo­ba­li­zed world.


Dirk Hü­ner­bein, the bricks and mortar re­tail tra­de has for ye­ars be­en lag­ging be­hind the per­for­mance of the eco­no­my as a who­le. Whe­re should the re­tail sec­tor invest?

At the mo­ment, a lot is be­ing in­vested in re­al es­ta­te, in other wor­ds on the land­lord si­de, to get buil­dings fit for pur­po­se in the fu­ture and to en­su­re that they can con­ti­nue to ser­ve as a plat­form for the re­tail busi­ness. Re­tail­ers them­sel­ves have in­vested a lot in e-com­mer­ce plat­forms, which of cour­se is al­so ju­sti­fied, and in do­ing so have so­me­what ne­glec­ted the de­ve­lop­ment of ren­ted pre­mi­ses. But this is pre­cise­ly whe­re they show­ca­se their brands and pro­ducts. In the vir­tu­al chan­nels, cli­ents lo­ve the sto­ries and peop­le who are as­so­cia­ted with the pro­ducts. In shops, the new snea­kers sit on a shelf next to many, while on the In­ter­net, custo­mers get the who­le life sto­ry of the ten­nis star of their youth, to match the shoe. Pla­cing an or­der is on­ly a click away. Shop­ping has long sin­ce cea­sed to be just about the purcha­se of a cer­tain pro­duct – it is about the buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and the en­ter­tain­ment fac­tor. This works best through the stra­te­gic use of all the ne­cess­a­ry chan­nels, both on­line and offline.


You are al­so re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber of pro­jects in an in­ter­na­tio­nal en­vi­ron­ment. What trends do you see?

No­wa­days, many peop­le ex­pect a so­lu­ti­on spe­ci­fic to their par­ti­cu­lar needs, in­clu­ding their con­su­mer be­ha­vi­or. You don't have to be a jet-set­ter to stroll through the malls of Du­bai. Smart­pho­nes gi­ve us ac­cess to other realms of ex­pe­ri­ence, any­ti­me, any­whe­re. Ne­verthe­less, or per­haps pre­cise­ly be­cau­se of this, we want to iden­ti­fy with our home in our im­me­dia­te li­ving en­vi­ron­ment, and we al­so want to be ab­le to ex­pe­ri­ence that of our fri­ends. This ap­plies just as much to the bran­ding of the buil­dings' struc­tu­ral shells as to the pro­ducts in the ren­ted re­tail space. Shop­ping cen­ters may al­so form a nu­cleus for dis­trict de­ve­lop­ment, if they are de­si­gned in a mo­re li­ve­ly and in­te­gra­ted way. From pop-up stores to co-working spaces through com­mu­ni­ty events, the­re are many dif­fe­rent ways to get shop­ping cen­ters out of their de­ep slum­ber and in­te­gra­te them in­to the ur­ban plan­ning environment.


On the ba­sis of a mi­xed-use de­ve­lop­ment in the Ne­ther­lands, Dirk Hü­ner­bein will pre­sent what the suc­cess­ful trans­for­ma­ti­on of a shop­ping cen­ter can look li­ke, at the Ex­pert Talk: Eu­rope­an Re­al Es­ta­te Mar­kets on Ju­ne 19, 2018 in Frankfurt/Main.


Das Event zum Thema
Der Autor
Bild: Drees & Sommer
Dirk Hünerbein
Head of Retail
Drees & Sommer