Emporio Armani’s EA7 brand has entered Russia for the first time through Ingka Centres’, formerly IKEA Centres, MEGA Teply Stan mall in Moscow. EA7 chose MEGA Teply Stan to host its first Russian store, demonstrating that MEGA malls continue to be the number one choice for international brands expanding into Russia.
The country is Europe’s largest consumer market with 146 million consumers, and a fast growing middle class, ensuring it presents an exceptional growth opportunity for retailers. Moscow has also cemented its position as one of Europe’s most fashionable cities in recent years, boasting an array of fashion conscious consumers.
EA7 has opened a 200 sqm store within MEGA Teply Stan’s fashion ‘cluster’, a 3,000 sqm multibranded department store housing brands including Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Cain and Liu Jo. MEGA Teply Stan also includes other world leading brands Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and MaxMara Weekend. EA7 offers premium modern sportswear including tracksuits, hoodies, trainers and beach apparel. The Italian retailer also brings its signature store fit-out; a light modern interior, metallic décor and mirrors.
The arrival of another esteemed international brand in the Russian market demonstrates the growth opportunities retailers believe the country offers. Consumers in Russia have a huge appetite for Western fashion, and between 60-80 percent of the fashion market is imported. According to research by Russian consultancy MAGAZIN MAGAZINOV there were 524 foreign retailers operating in the country in 2018.
Ingka Centres 14 MEGA branded Russian malls are a highly popular platform into Russia for brands as many of the cultural and legal barriers to entry have already been negotiated by Ingka Centres. In late 2018, HUGO by Hugo Boss, DKNY Sport and Intimissimi Uomo all also entered the Russia for the first time via MEGAs, which are all anchored by IKEA furniture stores.
These major new signings are also testament to Ingka Centres ambitious €2 billion upgrade programme being rolled out at its Russian malls. The company is on a journey to create a new kind of mall – vibrant meeting places, rooted in IKEA values that serve the needs of the community. This means meeting places with a powerful retailing attraction, but that go far beyond shopping. Destinations where people want to spend time, connect, socialise, shop and enjoy new experiences.
The €2 billion is being invested to upgrade and extend the existing portfolio of MEGA malls in-line with Ingka Centres meeting place vision. In 2018, Underline, a brand new concept space for fashionable millennials was launched at the mall. The 6,000 sqm fashion and lifestyle space is designed for brands that have developed online via channels like Instagram to establish a physical presence. It also includes space for pop-ups and co-working.
Vasco Santos, Head of Leasing at Ingka Centres commented: “We are delighted to welcome EA7 to Russia. MEGA malls have provided a growth platform into Russia for hundreds of fashion brands over the years, and a key reason for this is that they are far more than just places to shop. They are meeting places for recreation, leisure, entertainment, exercise and dining, and are visited by 246 million people annually. Their offering will only improve as our upgrade programme continues to develop.”
Last year, Ingka Centres also announced a new strategic vision, part of which will see take its retail-led mixed-use ‘meeting place’ concepts to the heart of cities for the first time. It plans to invest €3 billion in centres in 30 major cities across Russia, Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania, with the first locations to be unveiled in the near future.
Hundreds of international brands are present at Ingka Centres MEGA malls that have used them as a platform to successfully expand in the country. These include ZARA, MaxMara, Mango, Starbucks, UNIQLO, New Balance, Armani Exchange, United Colors of Benetton, Lacoste, Lindt and Massimo Dutti to name a few.