Of Ingka Centres 45 Meeting Places that were open before COVID-19 restrictions, only Russia’s 14 MEGA branded malls, two malls in Portugal, one in Spain, and one in the UK remain closed, meaning well over half of the company’s shopping centre portfolio is now open again.
The latest footfall figures and conversion figures from Ingka Centres re-opened Meeting Places continue to show an encouraging and sustained return of customers worldwide. Tiare Shopping, in the northern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, has seen 92 per cent of its usual number of visitors return in the first week since re-opening.
ELNOS Shopping in Italy’s Lombardy region and LUZ Shopping in southern Spain have also reopened their doors and have seen footfall reach 50 per cent and 82 per cent respectively of equivalent figures from last year in the first few days of opening.This reflects visitation figures from Ingka Centres other malls in Europe, such as in Poland where footfall has returned to 87 per cent of 2019 figures.
Gerard Groener, Global Managing Director of Ingka Centres comments:“Sales and footfall across our Meeting Places continue to exceed our expectations, and thanks to the resilience of our tenants around 90 per cent of stores are now open. Of course, restrictions remain, and are being rigorously adhered to, but we’re pleased at the maturity and responsibility our communities are showing in maintaining effective social distancing. Those tenant businesses still closed mainly operate in the F&B, kids and entertainment sectors, where stricter restrictions rightly remain in place, but we are looking forward to them also safely re-opening at the appropriate time.”
In China, visitors to LIVAT Centres in Beijing and Wuxi in April reached 67 and 81 per cent of equivalent figures from last year. LIVAT Wuhan has been most affected, and after a fortnight of trading footfall stood at 45 per cent. Importantly those visiting are proving more likely to spend, with turnover at the LIVAT Centre Wuxi reaching 104% of the equivalent period last year. Ingka Centres operates 45 centres in 15 different markets in Europe, plus Russia and China, and would normally see 480 million people visit its malls each year.
Ingka Centres has put in place a range of temporary safety measures to encourage customers to maintain their distance from others. This includes graphics on the floor showing the right distance to stand apart, as well as extensive display advertising to encourage best practice in hand washing. While Russia’s MEGA Meeting Places remain closed, Ingka Centres has increased investment in its MEGA Online ecommerce portal. This offers more than 600 brands for sale, and continues to drive traffic to tenants’ online stores. Since April, Ingka Centres has seen 200,000 visitors using MEGA Online. To date more than 80,000 customers have been served via home delivery or hands-free pick-up points.
Ingka Centres has also piloted a food-delivery service in Russia that offers access to different restaurants in each of its MEGA Meeting Places. Customers can order from multiple restaurants via an app, and all orders will be collected together and prepared for take away in just one click. MEGA Kazan in Russia became the first Meeting Place to provide this service to the local community, with others planned to roll out in due course.