Following the implementation of its strategy focused on “Food & Beverage,” AG Real Estate is pursuing the objective of transforming its shopping centres into living spaces where conviviality and recreation will attract a varied clientele by offering original and differentiating experiences.
The first initiatives are being rolled out in the Galeries St Lambert (Liège), Gent Zuid (Ghent) and Galeries Anspach (Brussels) shopping centres, where the clientele, mainly students and young employees, are particularly keen on this type of attraction. In 2022, the Westland Shopping Centre will also meet the demand of its family target group by offering a leisure concept on a 4,000m2 area.
Revitalization, innovation and conviviality
Galeries St Lambert: Orbis, an original French concept, will open its first location in Belgium at the Galeries Saint Lambert, in November of this year: 1,100m2 of floorspace, divided into several universes, will host an area dedicated to board games, an escape room, virtual reality games and experiences and finally a themed restaurant. The people of Liège will no doubt be delighted to go there.
Gent Zuid Shopping Centre: Located at the southern entrance to the city of Ghent, this shopping centre is attracting young adults looking for a place to meet and have fun. On a surface of over 300m2, Barvatar with its hotspot for eSports fans is a 100% local innovation by three young Ghent entrepreneurs. It features a leisure concept in 3 parts: “The Bar” will welcome Nintendo Switch, Xbox or Playstation fans, “The Club” will host eSports teams to train collectively and “The Academy” will be the meeting place for parents or companies interested in gaming and eager to develop their knowledge in this field. Barvatar is scheduled to open in September 2021.
A second, 1,800m2 project focused on leisure activities is being prepared with a projected opening at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.
Galeries Anspach: The Galeries have for several years now been home to the only casino in Brussels and its galeries, spread over 15,000m2, and have recently been supplemented by the more recent installations of The Park Playground (1,100m2) and Smile Safari (1,800m2). Finally, a new concept, the name of which will be revealed shortly, will be developed on 1,300m2 and will offer an escape room with a prison setting and a bar-pizzeria. See you in the summer of 2022 for a preview of this new space in downtown Brussels.
Sam Perneel, Head of Asset Management Retail: “The implementation of a modified commercial mix strategy in our retail portfolio is bearing fruit, thanks to the efforts of our teams and the stakeholders concerned. These initiatives are being launched at a time when the good footfall results are starting to return. We are pleased that these initiatives are coming to fruition in a more than perfect timing that will enable our customers to benefit from meeting, relaxation and entertainment facilities after the complicated healthperiod. AG Real Estate is convinced that by modernizing its commercial spaces, it is responding to its customers’ need for social contacts.”
As a stakeholder of the city, AG Real Estate is also looking into other opportunities to develop services for citizens, while keeping the human dimension at the heart of its thinking.