In a bid to capitalize on shopper traffic and consolidate its advertising ventures, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has unveiled its internal retail media agency, Westfield Rise. The move has paid off significantly, as the agency contributed a notable 19.6 million euros to the net margin in the first half of 2023, marking a remarkable 14% increase from the same period in 2022.

The strategic launch of Westfield Rise has positioned URW to further capitalize on the growing trend of brand visibility within mall spaces. The agency aims to leverage its 1,700 digital billboards and 170 dedicated advertising spaces located throughout its European retail centers to generate more advertising revenue. By charging brands for appearances on mall screens and pop-up spaces, URW is successfully tapping into the retail media market.

With its eyes set on ambitious targets, Westfield Rise seeks to reach a surplus margin of 75 million euros by the conclusion of 2024. Looking even further into the future, the agency has its sights on a substantial 200 million euros surplus margin by the year 2030. These targets reflect the company’s confidence in its advertising offerings and its anticipation of continued growth in the retail media market.

According to projections, URW’s optimism appears well-founded. The global retail media market, excluding China, is expected to soar to a staggering $110 billion by 2027. Such projections underscore the potential for URW to capitalize on the burgeoning demand for advertising space and brand visibility within retail environments.

The evolving landscape of online advertising also plays a role in shaping URW’s strategies. As concerns over consumer privacy grow and regulations surrounding data collection tighten, brands may shift their focus to prioritize physical contact with consumers. This change in advertising priorities could further boost the appeal of URW’s retail media offerings, providing brands with a tangible way to connect with their target audience within the mall environment.

To pave the way for its European-focused ambitions, URW has made strategic moves, including the sale of retail centers in the United States. The intention behind this move is clear: to transform into a pan-European pure-play company. By narrowing its focus to the European market, URW aims to maximize its potential in an area where it has a strong presence and a deep understanding of consumer preferences and behaviors.

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