"Shop local" is on the rise. People within communities tend to support local businesses, so the shop local movement will rise in its popularity even more. We can see how powerful this trend is from our own experiences. Many retailers in the ADG network of neighborhood centers successfully continue working thanks to the support of the communities even during these uncertain times. Social impact matters. Another trend is that people care about brand identity and its social influence more than ever before. It also has a strong connection with the evolution of local communities. Its inhabitants have a sense of connection, shared values, and identity. Neighbors within communities are more actively involved in different social agendas, and they want brands to be more socially responsible and conscious too. We have seen it this year through the experience of running different charity and environmental initiatives in our neighborhood centers. All of them had strong engagement and responses from the visitors, which resulted in increased brand loyalty. So, this is one more thing developers should bear in mind. Last but not least, personal approach is one-of-a-kind. We live in a digital world and have gotten used to convenient, personalized, and seamless customer experiences based on tech advancements. At the same time, the development of communities along with technology has made the personal approach much more popular among consumers. When you visit a food hall, for instance, you want to get a personal deal in your app based on your preferences. We had such an app in our neighborhood centers and can say that it helps people to have a higher level of satisfaction. The idea here is that when you design a physical space, you need to think about digital assets, which make your customer's experiences smoother and more convenient.
It was another challenging year for the industry. At the same time, we have opened five new neighborhood centers and turned many of these challenges into achievements. We are entering a new year with confidence and ambitious plans. Disruptive times require us to think ahead and find new opportunities. Let's seize them to successfully tackle obstacles and make our businesses prosperous next year.
Article published in Across Magazine, January 2023