IKEA Shopping Centres Russia (IKEA SCR) has announced details of its brand new food court concept and mall extension plans, which are set to attract a raft of retailers and western restaurant operators to its MEGA branded malls.
Plans released for the MEGA Teply Stan and MEGA Khimki shopping centres, both located in Moscow, and for MEGA Adygea-Kuban located in southern Russia, demonstrate the ambitious changes being undertaken at 12 of IKEA SCR’s 14 malls.
At Moscow’s MEGA Teply Stan the current food court will be upgraded to create space for a new, larger leisure dining experience with significantly more choice for customers. The food court will be divided into different zones such as family, youngsters and urban. Restaurant space will be divided into separate segments for fast food, and longer “destination” dining concepts.
A new unique design will create a central piazza within the food court, which will be the mall’s main meeting and relaxation point. The changes will see MEGA Teply Stan’s food court area almost double in size, creating opportunities for both existing and potential restaurant tenants.
In addition, after its extension, the mall’s total gross leasable area (GLA) is set to increase in size to a total of 195,000 sqm, providing a new modern space for retailers across all sectors.
Similar plans are in place for Moscow’s MEGA Khimki, but a unique fresh food market offer will also be incorporated. The shopping centre’s total GLA is also set to be extended by 15 percent to 212,000 sqm, making MEGA Khimki the largest shopping mall in north-west Moscow. The extension will coincide with MEGA Khimki becoming more integrated into Moscow’s light railway, and see it become more accessible to the local community, thus increasing footfall.
In addition, there are major plans for MEGA Adygea-Kuban, where a new sustainable shopping centre concept is under development. A new retail park adjacent to MEGA will almost double the current GLA to 170,000 sqm. Also, the new design is taking advantage of the warm climate in this region, creating a leisure destination for sports and outdoor dining.
The company plans to invest more than 300 million GBP in the extension of the two Moscow MEGA malls and the regional MEGA Adygea-Kuban. IKEA SCR believes the commercial upgrade programme will ensure it maintains its market leading position, and continues to attract international retailers seeking a “safe entry platform” into Russia. Armin Michaely, IKEA Shopping Centres Russia’s General Director commented: “We are creating the best possible environment for our current and new food court tenants, and our visitors.
“Food and beverage is becoming an integral part of Russian families’ visits to shopping centres, with the popularity of dining out at branded outlets, and interest in foreign cuisine rising. A key goal of our commercial upgrade programme is to deliver the best choice and quality for our customers, while making food areas destinations for socialising and relaxing, and an attraction in themselves,” he explained
“We are looking to make MEGAs the first choice dining destination within their local communities. Taking MEGA Khimki as an example, there are 300,000 people living within close proximity to the shopping centre – we want these people to choose MEGA when they eat out, and that is a key reason why we are making such major additions to our food offering,” he continued.
Mr. Michaely also explains that the MEGA mall extensions are a result of the Russian consumer’s huge appetite for all types of retail, and particularly fashion. Last fiscal year MEGA Shopping Centres were visited by 261 million people, a year on year increase of 3 percent, while over the last five years footfall has increased by 30 percent.
As the longest established shopping centre operator in Russia, IKEA SCR is rolling out its commercial upgrade programme to create better experiences for customers and support tenants businesses. Other elements include improved internal/external design, upgraded façades and entrances, new internal/external lighting and modern digital advertising screens. The commercial upgrade programme is also placing emphasis on delivering guest services such as baby caring rooms, family parking, playgrounds, and special kids events.
The tenant mix of each MEGA is carefully planned to attract families, with something for everyone. Stores offer women’s and men’s fashions, toys and clothes for children, sports and electronics goods for men, and a new furniture experience for the family home, with each MEGA being anchored by IKEA furniture stores.
IKEA SCR also uses its experience in Russia to adapt the MEGA tenant mix to suit different regions – Russia is a large country and consumer tastes vary in different cities that can be thousands of miles apart, with different climates.