Ingka Centres’ new meeting places a major hit as global growth continues

The opening of two new destinations in China and a strong recovery across Ingka Centres’ existing meeting places helped to deliver almost 16 per cent rise in sales for tenants and saw footfall reach 372 million. Tenant sales reached €6.6bn during this year with a YOY increase of 15.7% at constant exchange rates. Ingka Centres’ first mixed-use meeting place, which includes work-live units in Changsha, China, has attracted two million visitors in its first two months of operation since opening in summer 2021. An exciting land acquisition in India and the purchase of 6X6 building in San Francisco, the US, and Aura shopping centre in Toronto, Canada, sets the start of Ingka Centres’ business growth in these new markets.  

Ingka Centres’ transformation from traditional shopping centres into retail-led, mixed-use ‘meeting places’ – part of a €5bn global investment strategy – continues to accelerate, despite the economic and public health challenges posed by Covid-19.

Ongoing investments to improve the customer experience saw the global developer and operator’s 47 meeting places achieve €6.6 billion in collective sales, with visitors enjoying the ease of retail and leisure destinations close to public transport and within the heart of local communities.

Almost 1,000 new stores, which includes renowned international brands such as Bershka, Decathlon, H&M, Uniqlo, Sephora, Starbucks and Zara, and local shops opened across the portfolio and raised the attractiveness of Ingka Centres’ meeting places to its visitors. Other highlights of this year include openings of new leisure facilities for families such as “Smurf Land” in Ametzondo Shopping, France, and “Kids Town” in Livat Beijing, China, as well as a new phygital Hoff store in MEGA Belaya Dacha and Eco House in MEGA Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Global occupancy stays at 94 percent. 

Ingka Centres continues developing services to create a seamless omnichannel experience for modern visitors, such as the opening of the Underline online marketplace in Russia and WeChat program for Livat visitors in China. 

Ingka Centres’ managing director, Cindy Andersen, commented: “There’s no doubt the past year has been tough for all of us, professionally as well as personally. I’m happy to see how together with our colleagues and partners we are moving with a good speed, delivering rewarding experiences for our visitors and continuing to support communities. Our experiences in Changsha and Fuzhou, and in our meeting places across the world, show very clearly that people around the world continue to value the opportunity to physically meet, shop and spend time together in inspiring spaces. As lockdown restrictions ease, and the wider reinvention of retail continues, we will continue to focus on developing meeting places that offer people great experiences – physically and digitally – and contribute positively to communities and our planet. 

As part of Ingka Group, Ingka Centres is continuing its efforts to help limit global warming to 1.5°C by making its meeting places more sustainable. This includes a reduction of energy related emissions by 80 percent by 2030, alongside the organization’s commitment to phase out the use of coal and oil-based fuel by retrofitting its meeting places with 100 per cent renewable heating and cooling systems. Over the past five years, Ingka Centres has continued to accelerate its transition towards a greener future, reducing its energy emissions by 19 percent. During the same period, the company’s use of renewable energy has increased to 28 percent, while its use of renewable electricity across its meeting places has more than doubled to 42 percent. 

Andersen concludes: “We’re accelerating our journey to become more sustainable in everything we do. We’ve already broken the link between our business growth and an increase in our climate footprint. But much more needs to be done. It’s only by joining forces and collectively rethinking our approach as an industry that we’ll tackle climate change and take care of the largest meeting place we share – our planet.”                    

Globally Ingka Centres has many ‘people and planet positive’ activities to inspire and enable communities to live a more sustainable life. This includes the Love Your Stuff For Longer campaign that offers an alternative view to Black Friday, educational workshops, repair & recycling cafes, waste sorting stations, electric vehicle chargers, and more sustainable offers together with partners.