Automobile and Germany

Germany is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of the automobile with a wide range of events. Museums are offering an insight into its fascinating history.

Austria is a shoppers paradise compared to anywhere in the world. Onfo Switzerland and the USA can beat us, in fact, when it comes to numbers of digniped shopping centres.

Shopping malls and department stores in prime city centre locations are regaining their popularity fast. The best example of this trend is the Kastner & Ohler department store, which was newly renovated and reopened last year.

Innsbruck’s DEZ shopping mall is another with an enviable success story to tell: the “DEZ” can boast 25,0 visitors a day. When the department store first opened on 24 September 1970, nobody could have guessed the success story this ‘‘square box on the edge of town”, as it was dismissively referred to at the time, would eventually write. With 11,000 m2 of sales area and 700 parking spaces, the DEZ was the first shopping mall in Austria. Today, with its 140 shops and 7.5 million visitors per annum, the DEZ is amongst the best in the west of the country.

The Ringstrassen-Galerien, on the other hand, boast a highly classy address in Vienna. At the very heart of the city, this is a shopping mall with a difference; oriented to both cultural and urban audiences, the space also plays host to numerous events.

In total, consumers in Austria now have something like 13 million square metres of retail space available to them. That’s the equivalent of 1,613 square metres of shopping space per person. That’s considerably more than in Great Britain, where people have to be satisfied with less than 1,300 square metres of shopping per head. The global leaders are Switzerland, with 2,400 square metres, and the USA with

4.0 square metres of shopping enjoyment waiting to be had per person.

The two largest shopping malls in Austria are SCS Vosendorf (including the SCS Multiplex cinema), with

176.0 square metres of rentable space, and Vienna’s Donauzentrum (including the Donauplex), with

86.0 square metres of floor space. Just last year, the Donauzentrum celebrated an inspired architectural extension.

Pleasingly, one area where Austria comes out ahead of Switzerland is in the number of outlets per person: in this field, Austria is clearly on top with 153 per person, where Switzerland has only 141. The Austrian showpiece project of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, built in the Burgenland village ofParndorf, has serious pulling power, and within a few years has become an economic engine of regeneration for the entire area. Due to the huge success of the site, a second McArthurGlen Designer Outlet was opened in Salzburg two years ago. So what’s so special about the outlets? It’s a simple enough formula: the prices are always low, and bargain-hunters can purchase their favourite brands at prices slashed by 30 percent (and sometimes up to 70 percent!) six days a week. And all in a shopping environment which leaves nothing to be desired in terms of style.

In Austria as a whole, the annual turnover generated by the shopping malls is almost 37 billion euros. That’s the equivalent of turnover per person of around 4,600 euros, higher than either Germany or Italy. Significantly more is spent, on the other hand, in Switzerland (c. 7,400 euros per person) and the USA (9,000 euros per person). The share of total turnover generated by the shopping malls is steadily rising, however. Just like their popularity!

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