Vasco Santos, Global Sales & Leasing Manager, INGKA Centres
INGKA Group has a new three-pronged international growth strategy backed by a €5.8 bln investment, Vasco Santos, Global Sales & Leasing Manager, INGKA Centres, told Real Asset Insight.
INGKA, a name that pays homage to Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, controls the shopping centres and other activities of the group.
‘We have launched a growth agenda with three main goals,’ he said. ‘First, we want to increase our international presence. We will move into the Indian market, which we think is very interesting and has potential. We will also double our presence in China to 250,000 m2.
One single mixed-use project in Shanghai represents a €1 bln investment’.
The second goal is to increase the number of smaller Ikea stores in city centres. It has opened Planning Studios in central locations in London, Madrid and Stockholm and, more recently, the first city-centre concept store opened in Paris, a 5,400 m2 shop in Place de la Madeleine, near the Champs–Elysées.
‘Our strategy is to be closer to where our customers are, so we are going into the city centres with mixed-use projects in cities like Paris, Brussels, New York and Moscow,’ Santos said. ‘It is very exciting because they are very different projects, each one specific and tailored to its location’.
The third and final plan is the revamping of existing stores to improve them but also to be more relevant and customer-centric.
‘We are transforming our existing portfolio and sometimes repurposing the stores,’ he said. ‘It is a substantial investment for us. In Russia alone we are investing €1.8 bln in the coming years’.
The transformation reflects a new thinking about the role of IKEA stores in the city and the community, Santos said: ‘In order to be customer-centric we need to be relevant, which means going beyond the retail element to include components that people need. These will vary from country to country and from city to city, but they tend to include Food&Beverage, leisure, entertainment, working spaces and meeting places’.
Contact the editor here: mail