In the last decade, Shopping Centers have revolutionized the way of doing business in Albania and have had an impact in the life of a large part of Albanian consumers. Once, learned to buy everything in the neighborhood's minimarkets, today there are hundreds of thousands of Albanians who drive their cars or take the public transport to go to shopping centers.
But how can this radical change be explained, in a somewhat conservative society that does not easily embrace the change?
An explanation for this, is the example of ACREM’s (Albanian Commercial Real Estate Management) success, which is the Albanian leader in real estate services management over the last 11 years. The company manages some of the largest residential facilities or areas in the country. Besides the successful management of the QTU, the first commercial center in Albania, ACREM also manages other shopping centers and residences among the most elite in the country, from which TEG, VIVA Shopping Center in Fier, Rolling Hills, a complex with 153 elegant villas in Petrelë (Tirana), Ambassador 3 in Tirana that has 155 luxurious apartments and 123 parking spaces, Vala Mar Residences in Hamallaj (Durrës), Green Coast Resort in Palasa (Himara) can be mentioned.
It should be noted that only in QTU and TEG, over the last year ACREM faced a flux of about 16.7 million visitors, allocated 7.1 million in QTU and 9.6 million in TEG. Worthy figures for the largest companies in the region. Starting from 2019, QTU is expected to significantly increase its number of customers, as it will be refurbished with a new storefront, and many other innovations, ranging from restaurants, various activities and Cineplexx cinemas.
And to think that ACREM started its journey with only 30 employees in its first steps, while today it has about 200 employees, counting hundreds of other employees working in the facilities and residential areas it manages.
But how do this year finds ACREM, which coincides with the 11th anniversary of its founding? Mariola Radovani, Executive Director of the company, provides an overview of the current performance.
"ACREM's journey through these 11 years has been as difficult as it was ambitious. This year finds ACREM closer to the customer than any other similar company on the market. With a look at the latest developments in QTU and a team led by experts, today we are able to offer high quality services and meet our customers' expectations. ACREM is a consolidated reality and now with the facilities we manage, we are always growing, and always innovating!"– Radovani stated.
What makes QTU, TEG and VIVA so appealing?
By staying at the three key facilities managed by ACREM: TEG, QTU and VIVA, they are today turned into shopping and social centers for Albanian consumers as well as for visitors from the region, offering a variety of shops as well as plenty of fun for children and adults. Taken from the variety of customers, each of the centers develops a personalized marketing plan, trying to attract visitors of all ages and profiles. In this way, through this process, the needs and wishes of consumers have been fulfilled regardless of age, gender, financial status or lifestyle.
In QTU and TEG visitors can find various international brands such as the Inditex Group with its popular brands Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Bershka, Strativarious, LC Waikiki, KFC, or other known brands as De Facto, Neptun , Jysk, InterSpar, Mango, Okaidi, Jumbo, Spreingfield, Cineplexx, which are not available at other shopping centers in the country. Meanwhile, on August 31, 2018, the global giant Inditex opened its newest branch in TEG, ZARA HOME.
Radovani explains why these centers remain favorites for Albanians.
"Favorable and easily accessible positions for all Albanians of both shopping centers, responding to customer requirements by providing comprehensive experience, comfortable environments for each age group, developing new activities, continuous focus on service provided are our strongest points. Hence, both centers remain the most frequented in Albania".
Meanwhile Fier VIVA Shopping Center, which is located at the city entrance in a strategic position for the southern part of the country, has achieved the same success. In the two-storey building with a surface of 13,000m2 and 300 parking spaces, having a modern architecture that respects nature, VIVA opened its doors to the public in April 2018, counting over 60 shops, including Neptun, Jumbo, SPAR, LBT, Intersport, DeFacto etc. and a children's entertainment area of 2,000 m2. The center hosts up to 2.5 million visitors each year. In addition to the children's entertainment, to all family members VIVA offers many alternatives in spending time, at the bars and food areas. It had a social impact in the area, promptly opening up 500 new jobs.