THOMSEN GROUP of Hamburg developed the new strategy together with its renowned futurologists, retail experts and market researchers, based on studies within its so-called innowait-System conducted specifically for this: What will shopping in the future be like? How will it change retail? The secret to success is “time”: product quality, timeless, with genuine history.
And: saving time but also enjoying the time! A full realignment will turn the current Quartier 205, the only to span the entire city block between Berlin’s Friedrichstraße and the Gendarmenmarkt, into “TheQ”.
The quarter with a total area of almost 50,000 m2, 14,000 of which are retail space, will set standards for the retail industry. The goal is to create a new kind of shopping to meet international standards. The many changes are under way so that “Qualitime Shopping” can be experienced gradually, i.e. with every visit. Details were give in Berlin, from Marion Bachmann, centre manager for “TheQ.“, Volker Tibbe, its asset manager, and Bernd Thomsen, Chairman and CEO at THOMSEN GROUP International Strategy Consultants (TGISC®). ‘Shopping with a Goal’ will become ‘Shopping as a Goal’, Volker Tibbe terms one of the results. Marion Bachmann describes it a little more graphically: “This development is similar to a cruise where life on board has become a greater highlight than the ports of call. Buyers want to be flattered emotionally whilst shopping, leaving lasting impressions.” Aside from these future market changes which are already unfolding potentials today TGISC® analysed also two other topics: the local surroundings (with its in part exclusive premium services) and the future of luxury.
The greatest and for people also the most important luxury is time. They want to save time and enjoy their time. This is also verified in the study on luxury “Lifestyle Survey” with more than 5,000 respondents. The dimension of time also proves which products are favoured, namely timeless ones offering product history. Individual products and more innovative services are to tell a story and under no circumstances be disposable or off the rack. It comes down to quality fabrication, origin, individuality, durability. But also an expertise reserved to perhaps only a select few (and which is further clearly more socially compatible than definitive wealth). Or simply: qualitime. And the price is not key. Of course quality has a price, but the tendency to perhaps be defined by it is dwindling. “So nothing speaks against the price being just like a good steak: medium!” Bernd Thomsen smiles. “This gives a new meaning to true luxury which will change the markets. Ostentatious consumption loses ground to connoisseurship. And this not only applies to products but also the personal time budget. Isn’t time the greatest luxury?" as the sought-after consultant from the Hanseatic city puts it.“We will carry favourites, namely the way consumers want them: genuine“, says Volker Tibbe, for whom Qualitime Shopping is the perfect addition tothis part of town which some taxi drivers have coined “champagne neighbourhood”: “across the way it’s so expensive some can’t afford it. Here it’s so distinct some don’t understand it." The so-called style groups identified by TGISC® will probably understand it.
From target groups to style groups: Even an interior décor of materials such as leather and woods will make TheQ. a unique experience. Who will be thrilled by Qualitime? Three typologies represent the future potential: shoppers from Berlin and other metropolises around the world and lunchers, who will make use of this virtually only full day option for the soon to be so-called qulinaria (more below). Close examination of the values and the everyday life of this group uncovered an important common thread. THOMSEN GROUP doesn’t speak in terms of target groups as this typically merely sociodemographic view neglects something significant – the mportant psychographic lifestyle insights: The new style groups focus on pleasure and quality, want to occasionally use shopping to get away and not only have a certain level of expectations to be met not only by individual products but also a high affinity to convenience. Convenience, which some only know from food retail in form of small portions for singles, is to be a broader term at “TheQ.”. Here service- and experience convenience will be a priority, meaning: everything in one place and being inspired by it all. “Qualitime" (protected under the German Patent Office) will also redefine shopping. This decisively also includes the feel-good quality: 87.2% of respondents explicitly stated they missed it in other shopping centres. Consumers even state they would like an ambience“almost like home".
Goal: most customer friendly shopping mall: From now on only offerings with a Qualitime character are to be offered, thus making the mall unique. TheQ. will not only ensure it’s unique based on the quality of the product range but also through innovative services, e.g. at a “Q-Point” or through the comfort and convenience of the offerings. The strategy also includes the goal to become the most customer-friendly centre. There will therefore be a service push for the employees of all tenants. An example of a future special experience: a TheQ. customer is trying on an outfit at a shop. When laying her garments down the employee notices the hanger loop at the customer’s coat has come off and she makes sure it’s reattached in the meantime. So “Qualitime” provides customers with unexpected service. Stylish capital letters above the doorways will signify to the new style groups what to expect inside. A guide system will follow inside the building and also in printed form to easily guide customers to their destination. The current food court will become the attractive Qulinaria, a simple all-day culinary area. After one’s evolution this centrally located area in the basement will then be the meeting point for snacks, brunch and lunches. The professed objective is to also inspire those visitors who have thus far regularly only used the offerings of the old food court with all the Qualitime offerings.
To learn more:
Road blocks and torch bearers: Berlin welcomes “The Q.”
The primary website for all customers is:
A separate portal designed specifically for tourists is under way. Anybody looking to spend a special day – TheQ. calls it ‘FreaQy Day’ – can visit: www.berliNow.de
Trade professionals will find expert information at:
Of all the new construction projects along Friedrichstraße the three blocks of the Friedrichstadt passages were the first and most noted. Even during the final years of the GDR planning and construction of the area had begun but following a new competition the structural work was torn down again in the early 90s. The construction group derived the name from the shopping mall which connected the three “quarters” in the basement.
The Quartier 205 located on the south side is the only one of the three to take up the entire city block, thus also affects the rear Gendarmenmarkt. Built from 1992 to 1996 by Tishman Speyer following the plans of Cologne architect Oswald Mathias Ungers, the prestigious residential and business quarter took root as offices and residences just as much as for upscale retail. The high regard of this extraordinary location appears to now return in “Qualitime”.
Quelle: Thomsen Group International