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Ikea plans vast Russian mall to attract fashion brands

Plans have been unveiled to build a 2.3 million sq ft shopping centre in Moscow, which is “set to attract a raft of international retailers seeking expansion opportunities in Russia”.

Ikea Shopping Centres Russia will invest €260m (£204m) in the centre, which will be called Mega Mytishchi and located to the northeast of Moscow.

The shopping centre developer said “more than half the gallery [mall] space will be available for fashion retailers, with a focus on mid-range ‘best of the high street’ brands”.

Across the company’s existing portfolio of 14 Russian shopping centres, more than 70% of tenants are international and less than 30% are domestic - a split that is likely to be replicated at this next development.

A number of international brands have already used Ikea Shopping Centres Russia’s malls to enter the country for the first time. Inditex fast-fashion brand Lefties opened last month in three centres - Mega Teply Stan and Mega Belaya Dacha in Moscow and Mega Dybenko in St Petersburg - and Violeta by Mango launched in Mega Kazan in the city of Kazan in April.

US women’s young fashion retailer Forever 21 will open a flagship store in Moscow at the Mega Teply Stan mall in November.

Ikea said international fashion retailers are attracted to its centres because: “They provide a familiar western environment where many of the cultural and legal barriers to entry have already been safely negotiated.”

More than 31 British retailers are already trading in Russia via Ikea malls – either through franchise or company-owned stores – including Marks & Spencer, Next, Topshop, New Look, BHS, Debenhams and Karen Millen.

Mega Mytishchi will be anchored by an Ikea store and split over two floors. It will open in 2018 and is expected to attract between 25 million and 30 million visitors a year. The new development will also offer 10,000 parking spaces.

Armin Michaely, Ikea Shopping Centres Russia general director, said: “The super-regional mall will set a benchmark for modern retailing in Russia.”

The shopping centre had previously been earmarked for development more than five years ago but was reportedly put on hold in 2010 while the developer focused on its existing schemes in Russia.

Tenant sales at Ikea’s 14 Mega malls grew by 6% in the year to August 2014 to more than €6bn (£4.7bn) and 44% in the last five years. Footfall across the malls, of which there are currently three in Moscow, has risen 4% this year to more than 270 million people, which represents a 27% rise in the last five years. The vacancy rate across the portfolio is 0.9%.

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