IKEA Centres Russia, the leading shopping centre operator in Russia and part of the global IKEA Centres business, confirmed today at the ‘ICSC ReCon Europe’ its trusted partnership with international brands willing to enter the Russian market. Eight new global brands have chosen MEGA shoping centres to open their very first stores in the country, including Armani Exchange, Hunkemoller, Lindt, Superdry and NYX. The company, whose new positioning is to create the ‘meeting place’, is proving successful with a healthy vacancy rate of just 1.6% and over 265 million people visiting its MEGA shopping centres last year — equivalent to nearly double the Russian population, and four times that of the UK.
IKEA Centres Russia is experiencing great demand from national and international retailers looking for an experienced partner with a proven track record and trusted reputation to foster their expansion plans. Overall, 90 new brands have opened stores in MEGA shopping centres in the last year. Global brands that chose IKEA Centres Russia’s MEGA shopping centres as an entry point to Russia included British retail brand Superdry, Italian fashion house Armani Exchange, Austrian coffee brand Julius Meinl, Dutch lingerie boutique Hunkemoller, Korean cosmetics retailer The Nature Republic, French cosmetics retailer NYX and Swiss luxury chocolatier Lindt. Additional brands that extended their presence across the portfolio included: Uniqlo, Furla, Swatch, Inglot, LC Waikiki, Samsonite, Street Beat, Natura Siberika, Mothercare, Kiabi, etc.
International retailers are also exploiting MEGA shopping centres as a platform to showcase new brand store concepts such as Massimo Dutti, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Nike or Samsung.
Arnoud Bakker, Head of Leasing Group at IKEA Centres Russia, commented, “Russia represents an enormous retail opportunity within the European market for international retailers. MEGA shopping centres are the top visited shopping centres in Russia and are therefore very attractive to international retailers. Our confidence and expertise in the local market make us the ideal and most stable partner for them to start their business in Russia.”
Currently, IKEA Centres Russia’s is undergoing a €2 billion investment programme, designed to deliver innovative and experiential meeting places alongside world-class retail. The new meeting places will bring commercial upgrades to food court areas, shopping galleries and leisure zones.
In addition, significant investments have been made in the MEGA centre regional portfolio including the purchase of landplots in Chelyabinsk and St.Petersburg, and a landplot in the wider Moscow region, which is designated for the first stand-alone IKEA store in Russia.
As part of the investment programme, food and beverage spaces at existing MEGA centres will almost double in order to provide the centres’ loyal customers with the full-day experience. ‘Taste Boulevard’ in MEGA Teply Stan, which opened in April 2016, was the first new F&B concept to open due to the investment programme. The €30 million leisure concept has introduced over 20 international and local food concepts to MEGA Teply Stan, such as Red Mango, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Correa’s and ‘LavkaLavka’, a unique Russian farmers’ organic food restaurant and farm shop. A second ‘Taste Boulevard’ will soon open its doors at MEGA Khimki offering 35 cafés and restaurants, including 16 slow-food dining concepts. MEGA Kaza has just completed its mall upgrade and will open its ‘Taste Boulevard’ later on this year, while MEGA Ekaterinburg is currently improving its Food & Beverage area.