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IKEA Centres Wants You, U.S. Retailers!

IKEA-based Malls Offer Platforms for U.S. Retailers Looking to Expand in China and Russia
May 22, 2018
U.S. retailers looking for a way to expand into China or Russia, two consumer-fertile yet notoriously tough countries to enter, can find a gateway through IKEA Centres, the shopping center company owned by IKEA Group.

The Denmark-based IKEA Group division is spending well over $1.73 billion in building three new mixed-use projects in China, and is investing $2.4 billion in Russia to redevelop and expand existing malls and construct new ones, according to Luc Mougel, lease group manager for IKEA Centres. Mougel and his team were in Las Vegas this week at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual conference to drum up support for the projects with U.S. retail brands.

"The trends that are happening in the U.S. are coming to Europe, China and Russian," Mougel said. Though countries in Europe or Asia do not have the overstored problems the U.S. is wrestling with, they are seeing the same societal issues that plague U.S. retailers - electronic shopping impacting shifts in spending as consumers look for a better live-work-play intermix.

"We really want these malls to help consumers feel like this is a place where they belong and feel connected to," he said, referring to what he called a "meet, socialize and shop" initiative.

"There is demand for U.S. retailers in these areas," Mougel noted. Already, there are some 60 U.S. brands in 45 IKEA-anchored malls across 15 countries. IKEA Centres hopes to have 70 malls that also integrate food and beverage, including grocery, wellness and family-oriented venues and parks throughout Europe, China and Russia, by 2025. The U.S. brands already there include the likes of Armani Exchange, Reebok, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Victoria’s Secret. Restaurants include Starbucks, Subway and TGI Friday’s, among others.

Mougel hopes to attract other U.S. retailers such as Nordstrom, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. "U.S. retailers are very surprised that there is a platform like this that does exist," he said. "We can offer a gateway to these countries."

Jennifer Waters, Chicago Reporter  CoStar Group   
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