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IKEA Centres launches innovative new fashion space to attract millenials at Moscow mall

IKEA Centres, the shopping centre company owned by IKEA Group, has launched Underline, a brand new concept space for fashionable millennials at its MEGA Teply Stan mall in Moscow.

The 6,000 sqm new fashion and lifestyle space is designed for modern brands that have developed online via channels such as Instagram to establish a physical presence. It also includes space for pop-ups and co-working space. It will enable fashionistas to experience the latest trends and city lifestyle concepts all in one place, supporting IKEA Centres vision to create unique meeting places.

Underline is a genuine example of traditional retail space being reconfigured to create a truly experiential new retail environment for the more omnichannel world. Based on three core zones of fashion, lifestyle, wellness & beauty, Underline includes a mix of over 30 brands in an edgy warehouse style basement location within MEGA Teply Stan.

Many are popular Russian Instagram fashion brands or rising stars, including Cocos Moscow, Akhmadullina Dreams, Demeter, Fashion Confession, Sorry I’m not and Marie by Marie. Most of these online brands have taken short leases on pop-up physical retail space to temporarily showcase their brands. This keeps Underline exciting for visitors as its fashion offer is constantly changing.

However, only 2,000 sqm of Underline is dedicated to retail space. The remaining 4,000 sqm comprises popular lifestyle services where likeminded young people can work, practice yoga, drink coffee, have beauty treatments or visit lectures. Respublika, a cool modern Moscow bookshop, Double B an artisan coffee shop, and 365 Detox-café a healthy snack venue, can all be found at Underline. There is also a barbershop, an IKEA pop-up store, lecture area, book crossing and reading space. Culminating to deliver a space where visitors can relax and enjoy their leisure time.

The concept is in-line with IKEA Centres journey to create a new kind of mall – unique IKEA anchored meeting places, rooted in IKEA values that serve the needs of a community. This means meeting places with a powerful retailing attraction, but that go far beyond shopping. IKEA Centres are destinations where people want to spend time, where they can connect, socialise, shop and enjoy new experiences.

MEGA Teply Stan is renowned for its fashion offer and is visited by 35 million people annually. Underline was specially developed to be a new fashion anchor, and ensure the mall remains one of Moscow’s leading fashion destinations. Detailed research was undertaken into customer insights and trends to ensure it met the tastes of South West Moscow’s sophisticated consumers. Undelrine is set to attract an array of new visitors, benefitting original fashion tenants such as H&M, Zara, Mango and Armani Exchange.

Luc Mougel, Lease Group Manager for IKEA Centres Russia, commented: “There is much debate about the need for retail destinations to provide new, original experiences that can’t be replicated online. Underline is a truly new concept specifically aimed at engaging the millennial generation. It has already proved popular, and so far the best performing brands are Instagram rising star brands Marchelas, Bat Norton, LN Family and Astra Moda. Underline is driving footfall for all our MEGA Teply Stan tenants, and it is likely that similar concepts will be rolled out at other centres within our portfolio,” he continued.

IKEA Centres is currently investing €2 billion in its portfolio of 14 Russian shopping centres which operate under the brand name MEGA. This will see them being upgraded – partly to create concepts like Underline – to become meeting places that fit IKEA Centres vision for a new kind of mall. IKEA Centres already operates 45 retail destinations across Russia, China and Europe. However, this is set to increase to 70 locations across 15 countries by 2025, hosting and serving an estimated 1 billion visitors.

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