Log in or Register for enhanced features | Forgotten Password?
White Papers | Suppliers | Events | Report Store | Companies | Dining Club | Videos
General Retailers
Department Stores
Return to: RBR Home | General Retailers | Department Stores

Moscow to unveil Europe’s biggest mall as recession threatens Russia

RBR Staff Writer Published 27 November 2014

Moscow is set to unveil Aviapark, Europe’s biggest shopping mall on November 28, amid threats of recession to Russia alongside already levelled international sanctions due to the Ukrainian conflict.

The Aviapark mall will be bigger than northeast England's MetroCentre, with an area of 230,000sq m (2.48m sq feet) to accommodate around 550 stores. It is also three times bigger than the Metropolis mall, situated nearby and bought by Morgan Stanley in 2013 -- Russia's biggest real estate deal -- for $1.2bn.

A Colliers International estimate reports that overall development, land and planning permits included, would have touched $1bn.

One of the investors in the venture is Igor Rotenberg, son of Arkady Rotenberg, childhood pal of president Vladimir Putin, who is one of the targets of sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union.

Aviapark's leasing agent, broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., has revealed that retailers such as Decathlon, Groupe Auchan SA, Hoff, Obi AG and Media Markt-Saturn SA have rented over 85% of the mall's space.

Over the last decade, Russia has attracted global brands like Inditex SA's Zara, Adidas AG, etc., as the 1990s open markets have been replaced by malls.

A promotional film about Aviapark's proximity and convenience advertises that 100,000 people can walk over to the mall, within 10 minutes, from their homes.

As per an Aviapark report, Russia's M.video, Detsky Mir, Sportmaster and the cinema chain Karo comprise the local tenants.

Despite the terrible timing, general director of INFOLine, a St. Petersburg-based researcher, Ivan Fedyakov said that even during crises the bigger malls had the tendency to entice customers, who might not have the money to afford a new apartment or a trip abroad, but were always game for some retail therapy.

In October, compared to last year, the retail sales growth of Russia languished at 1.7% and unemployment was at its highest since April.