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Credit: Jost-Gantar

Aleja Ljubljana wins global shopping center award

The newest of the five Slovenian centers owned by developer and operator SES Spar European Shopping Centers received the “Global RLI Award” in the “International Shopping Center–New Build” category in London on 23 September 2021.

In May 2020, Aleja shopping center opened its doors in the heart of Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. Now, the mixed-use shopping destination has succeeded in making it onto the winner’s podium of the Global RLI Awards. Aleja prevailed against other finalists from Serbia, Italy, and China. The prestigious award was virtually presented during an evening gala ceremony.  

The “Global RLI Awards”, which are presented by Retail & Leisure International and are highly coveted within the industry, have honored innovative developments and visionary concepts from the retail and leisure sectors for the last 16 years. This year, as in previous years, the world’s best shopping and leisure destinations were recognized in 13 categories. 

Award honors high level of customer focus

There was a great deal of jubilation in London when SES shopping center Aleja was announced as this year’s winner of the prestigious award. When awarding the prize, the jury emphasized the tremendous contribution made by shopping centers in terms of customer focus, presentation of brands, merchandise and trends, maintenance, and–of particular importance during the pandemic–cleanliness and hygiene. According to the jury, a high level of service, diversity on offer, design excellence, and creating an appealing, real brick-and-mortar and digital experience for all visitors, were particularly important factors in the awarding of the prize. 

“We are all extremely proud to have received this highly prestigious international award! We see this as recognition of our passion for developing vibrant shopping destinations that are of the highest customer relevance,” stated Christoph Andexlinger, Chief Operations Officer of SES, with enthusiasm.

“All-purpose” shopping center Aleja Ljubljana 

Aleja Ljubljana boasts a unique, timelessly modern architectural design, a clear and straightforward concept, and a shopping and leisure offering that goes beyond the usual. The heraldic symbol of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana–the dragon–also inspired the architects to create the imposing exterior facade. The shopping center is characterized, first and foremost, by its mixed-use concept: It features 80 stores, first-class gastronomy, the first Planet Lollipop children’s adventure world in Slovenia, and a rooftop sports and recreation zone measuring 6,200 sq m–Aleja sky. A pump track circuit can also be found in front of the building. As a new district center, Aleja has set new quality standards for retail properties both in the Slovenian capital as well as internationally. The succesful combination of retail, gastronomy, and leisure was particularly praised by the jury. 

SES and its shopping centers are multiple international award winners

SES has already received several awards for a number of its shopping centers, most recently in 2017 when it won the “ICSC Regeneration Award 2017” for WEBERZEILE Ried. In 2011, SES was named “RLI Developer of the Year 2011” for its shopping center operations. The focus areas of the internationally recognized awards range from marketing to architecture to sustainability. The SES portfolio, which consists of 30 shopping destinations in six countries, also includes Europark Salzburg, which was named the “World’s Best Shopping Center” by the ICSC in 2007 and received the ICSC European Shopping Center Award in 2017. Atrio Villach received the “Most Sustainable Shopping Center” award from the ICSC in 2009.


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