The future of SES


Interview with SES Supervisory Board Chairman Mag. Marcus Wild

What conclusions have you drawn as a result of the coronavirus crisis?

Marcus Wild ››› Our centers primarily consist of organically grown local retail locations. Those very roots of our company have served as our backbone, even throughout the crisis. With regard to our competitors, our advantage in that area has also increased. However, this year’s figures will be nothing like the previous year’s. Our efforts and successful achievements need to be reassessed. We always operate in a partnership-oriented manner, also when times are rough. Our personal relationships with our retailers, as well as our gastronomy and service providers, are of particular importance to us. Having said that, we now have a clearer picture of which of our concepts are crisis-proof. The wheat is being separated from the chaff.

How will the shop mix change in the medium term?

Marcus Wild ››› The coronavirus pandemic is representative of a true disruption. The accelerated evolution of retail is a direct result of it. The current trend is towards fewer traditional textile concepts, fewer medium-sized companies, more food & near-food products, more regional producers, more home & garden, more sports, more clearly defined concepts, and more click & collect.

The coronavirus pandemic represents a true disruption. The accelerated evolution of retail is a direct result of it.

Marcus Wild
Chairman SES Supervisory Board

What does “the new, post-corona world” entail for SES? What are the greatest opportunities for development?

Marcus Wild ››› Change always creates huge opportunities for business people and entrepreneurs. In competitive environments, faster and more consistent adaptation is often critical. The post-corona world will offer entrepreneurs enormous potential to develop new business models and ideas. That creative potential began to unfold as soon as the lockdown was triggered. Some of our gastronomy providers, for example, have succeeded in establishing new business areas that offer excellent pick-up services. Another example can be seen in the new Hervis model market at EUROPARK Salzburg, where you can sense the company’s determination and enthusiasm to become more relevant to the market. Overall, the market leadership of SPAR/INTERSPAR in Austria, which was established during the first four months of the year, has clearly strengthened our centers. A shopping center is not just a shell that houses numerous retail companies under one roof. It is also an “enabler” and, as such, it must actively select retailers and concepts, while being demanding and supportive of them. Furthermore, a center must be regionally anchored, not exchangeable, and integrated into the community. All of these things are well executed throughout the entire SPAR Group. We are certain to emerge from the coronavirus crisis even stronger than before.

Where will SES be in five years?

Marcus Wild ››› Our focus on regional identity and authenticity will be of greater intensity in the future. Mixed-use spaces have become increasingly important. The opening of our new district center ALEJA in Ljubljana gives an indication of a new beginning in the wake of the lockdown. It also captures the spirit of the times. Five years from now, shopping places will have to be regarded even more strongly as meeting places that combine shopping, leisure activities, residential areas, commercial buildings, and other uses.