Two crowns for Kielce

Eurobuild Awards
Galeria Korona triumphed twice at the Eurobuild Awards 2015. its managing director, Michał Góźdź, was voted Shopping Centre Manager of the Year. He revealed to us how to achieve growth in annual turnover of almost 40 pct during apparently bad times for retail

How did Galeria Korona Kielce, which you are in charge of, win the prize at the Eurobuild Awards?

It was a very pleasant surprise and an honour for our entire team. We received it because we have adopted quite an innovative approach to our management model and for individual projects, which is in line with the times. Four people are responsible for the management
of the company in charge of Galeria Korona. They are not just competent but also open to dialogue with the other party.

Where did the idea for such a strategy come from?

One and a half years ago the company’s strategy changed.This was when I was made the managing director of the company by Lech Chudy, the president of the board of MGC Inwest, the developer of Galeria Korona. This was also when we drew up a new plan for Galeria Korona, which we now implement every day. The starting point for this was an in-depth analysis of the strong and weak points of the centre and accompanying projects. We knew what makes us stand out, what our advantages were and we were not afraid to talk about the aspects of it that needed to be improved.

Now you are reaping the harvest.

The Eurobuild Awards prize will motivate us even further. It shows that the strategy we have adopted and the plans we have been implementing are providing measurable effects. Tenants are never left to their own devices in our centre. We are at their disposal all the time. We allow them to implement a variety of their own projects and we provide them with sales promotion tools.

The results of the Millward Brown survey carried out for the Eurobuild Awards 2015 show that your tenants are very satisfied with many aspects of the centre’s functioning.

Apart from full commercialisation, our strategy involves a long-term process aimed at increasing the turnover of our tenants and increasing the footfall through the organisation of marketing events. We particularly want people who do not know the project to come to
Galeria Korona Kielce, take a liking to it and become loyal customers. We can see that both the turnover and footfall in the centre have grown year on year. The growth for the last two years amounted to app. 40 pct and 35 pct respectively.

But the retail market is said not to be the easiest way to earn a living these days...

Of course, you can always say that times are hard, but if you can offer an attractive project that you are able to defend in business terms, then you are also able to sign contracts. We are fully leased out.

What are your plans for the near future?

In May 2015 Galeria Korona celebrated its third anniversary, so our five-year contracts will be finishing in 2017. This is why the next year will be one of analysis. We will be starting negotiations aimed at re-leasing. We will be analysing the turnover and the rents. This will be a long and hard process aimed at the prolongation of the contracts that are expiring. But we will also consider the introduction of new brands, including those emerging on the Polish market.

What is your greatest management challenge at this time?

We are rapidly gaining new customers, and there are a few issues connected with this that we could not have expected at the design stage. This is why we are trying to improve the comfort and ease of using the shopping centre. This involves the modification of the entrances to the car park and the traffic control system.