30 Fastest Growing Companies to watch 2019


Citycon: A Truly Nordic Shopping Centre Company

The shopping center industry is changing as the levels of education changes, demography morphs and digitalization accelerates. In America, the consumer has been spending more eating out than what he/she has been spending at a grocery store for some time now. Such a change is being observed all over the world including the Nordic region. Not too long ago, people visited shopping centers in the region for their immediate needs but today the expectation is much more. Shopping centers have become a place where multiple services like entertainment and shopping are expected. One of the biggest contributors to the shopping center industry in the Nordic region is Citycon.

Citycon, founded in 1988, is a leading Nordic company that is reinventing and building the community hubs of today. The company owns, manages, and develops urban, grocery-based shopping centers in the Nordic region. The company manages assets that amount to about EUR 4.4 billion.

It is the number one shopping center owner in Finland and is also a market leader in Norway, Sweden, and Estonia. The company has a strong foothold in the Danish market too. Its shopping centers are primarily located in prime locations like urban crosspoints which are close to where customers live and work. They cater to the customers’ everyday needs ranging from grocery stores, theatres, game studios, bowling alleys, restaurants, libraries, healthcare centers, pharmacies, gyms and much more. Citycon owns more than 40 shopping centers across the Nordic region which attracts approximately 170 million visitors annually.

It’s all about the change

Urbanization is a global phenomenon that is being observed all over the world as people move to the cities for better opportunities. This move is one of the biggest influencers when it comes to the shopping center industry. To keep up with the changing trends and customer behavior, businesses have to constantly innovate and evolve to cater to the changing demands.

A key part of Citycon’s strategy is to change with the times too. To keep up, the company actively works to develop its shopping centers either by redevelopment or extensions of its already built shopping centers. The objective is always to increase the commercial yield and raise the competitiveness of the shopping center to generate a strong rental growth.

The Leader

F. Scott Ball, CEO

Scott became took on the role of CEO in 2 January, 2019. As the CEO of Citycon, he is responsible for day-to-day management of the company and also ensuring that the company’s accounts are in compliance with the law.

He has extensive experience in the retail estate business. He has spent more than three decades in the business where he has held a range of leadership positions. Prior to Citycon, he was the founder and president of private real estate investment and retail advisory firm. Before that he was the President and COO at Starwood Retail Partners. From 2007 to 2010, he was the CEO and Principal of Blatteis & Schnur.

Awards

- Citycon-owned Pikkulaiva shopping center was the winner of the “Shopping Centre Act of the Year 2018” competition. The competition was organized by the Finnish Council of Shopping Centres. Located in the coastal city of EspoonLahti, Finland, Pikkulaiva is a temporary building that will replace the Lippulaiva shopping center for a few years. The Lippulaiva building has been dismantled and the site is being subjected to a reconstruction where a new shopping center will come up in a few years time.

Pikkulaiva center provides services to the nearby residents as the Lippulaiva center construction continues. The businesses that used to operate at Lippulaiva operate from the Pikkulaiva building. The Pikkulaiva shopping center is Finland’s first pop-up shopping center. The stores at the building provide around 350 jobs.

- The Nordic Council of Shopping Centres (NCSC) recognized Citycon-owned Iso Omena as “The Best Shopping Centre in Finland” in 2018. The NCSC jury was all praises for the Iso Omena and said that the shopping center is a great combination of functionality, innovation and capacity. They further called the center to be an extremely versatile offering.

The jury stated: “The shopping center has managed to create interesting, bold solutions. The center serves its customers in a regionally unprecedented way, offering speed and convenience of business, coupled with experiences. The center has succeeded in conquering new customer groups and significantly expanding its regional sphere of influence. This center sets a new standard for Finnish shopping centers and marks the direction of development for the entire industry.”

“We own and manage over 40 urban and sustainably operated shopping centers across the Nordic region.”

“Citycon is No. 1 shopping center owner in Finland and among the market leaders in Norway, Sweden and Estonia.”

“We aim to be the household name for Nordic shopping centers. The three focus areas of our strategy are right assets, retail experts and strong capital base.”