Russian mall to open a 1 million-sq.-ft. park
Experiential retail is getting a sporting chance in Russia thanks to Ikea Centres.
The 14 MEGA shopping malls operated by Ikea in that sports-minded nation will be getting “MEGA Parks” as part of a $2.3 billion dollar investment to upgrade the properties. The green spaces will include soccer fields, basketball courts, ice rinks, playgrounds and green spaces to drive and keep traffic.
A 100,000-sq.-ft. park at the center in Khimki features a multifunctional sports design that includes a running track suitable for pro athletes. A field used for soccer in warmer months will be turned into an ice rink in winter.
At MEGA Rostov-on-Don, a 215,000-sq.-ft. park is designed for long leisurely walks surrounded by nearly 2,000 trees and shrubs. Later this year in Ekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, a million-sq.-ft. MEGA Park will feature open-air cinemas and host concerts and festivals.
Ikea Centres offers sponsorship opportunity to mall tenants for such events. At MEGA Dybenko, telecom operator TELE2 put its name on a summer cinema series.
MEGA Parks are intended to serve as destinations in and of themselves, according to an executive from Ikea Centres Russia.
“Anticipating guest expectations and constantly surprising them is fundamental to the long term successful development of our business in a more omnichannel world,” said Milen Gentchev. “We believe in this vision, which is why we are upgrading our shopping centres to become meeting places for recreation, leisure and entertainment.”
Ikea Centres operates 45 malls and centers in Europe and Asia and has announced plans to expand to more than 70 locations by 2025.
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