Its shopping centres are spearheading futureproofing strategies driven by an omnichannel approach and strategic commercial developments
Kuala Lumpur – Ikano Centres, part of Ikano Retail, continues to accelerate its omnichannel approach to retail amid a year marred by Covid-19 closures for its shopping centre business. As shoppers begin to return to physical visits, a key priority remains enhancing its IKEA-anchored destinations to adapt to evolving consumer expectations.
With five meeting places under its portfolio – IPC, MyTOWN, Toppen, and Batu Kawan in Malaysia, as well as Megabangna in Thailand, Ikano Centres have maintained a healthy lease rate of 92% at its shopping centres throughout the past 18 months. During this time, the group introduced enhancements to address safety, improve customer experience, pilot digital partnerships, and create innovative shopping platforms for customers to connect, engage, and learn.
“We are optimistic about our recovery as we see more visitors returning to our centres,” said Adrian Mirea, Ikano Centres’ Shopping Centre and Mixed-Used Director. “To strengthen the shopping experience across our centres, we continue to sustainably invest in both physical developments to our assets and also digital platforms to elevate the experience that shoppers have at our centres. All this while ensuring that our centres continue to be safe meeting places for the many.”
Ikano Centres introduced digital innovations aimed to support its tenants throughout closures, while giving its visitors multiple ways to engage with their favourite centres. Initiatives include personal shopper services through GoGet, livestreams supported by social commerce, campaigns powered by GrabFood and Foodpanda, and optimising its shopping centre apps to facilitate convenience to shoppers through order and collect services.
As community-centric shopping destinations, each meeting place is growing through sustainable means, with each development plan designed to cater to the needs of its surrounding community:
IPC Shopping Centre: Damansara’s favourite neighbourhood shopping centre strengthens its family-friendly offers
At the heart of Mutiara Damansara, IPC is finalising upgrades to its facilities to increase convenience, accessibility, and family-friendly services to its visitors. With a new escalator to improve traffic flow throughout the centre, it is also improving its family amenities including its family rooms and playgrounds. The Level 2 ‘Funland’ will see more fun and exciting playsets for kids, with a new ‘Playland’ on Level G. Families can enjoy a safe and great day out with new dining options.
MyTOWN Shopping Centre: Introducing a new a new socialising and lifestyle hub in the heart of Kuala Lumpur
Targeted to launch in December 2021, MyTOWN is excited to introduce MyGround, a vibrant new socialising hub for its city-centre based visitors to connect and co-create shared experiences. More than 145,000 sq ft of its former department store location is being redeveloped into unique retail spaces, with selected units created with a flexible model for F&B tenants featuring built-in fit outs to offer low start-up costs and easier entry into the shopping centre market. In addition to welcoming BookXcess, SSFHOME+, and Panda Eyes earlier this year, sports retailer Decathlon, Puma, and a new concept Adidas store will strengthen the sports and athleisure offer. To cater to working professionals within its location, Southern Malaysia’s largest co-working space Infinity8 will be opening their first location in the Klang Valley in 2022.
Toppen Shopping Centre: Championing social enterprise with Soulmates, a flexible space-booking platform to support small businesses and entrepreneurs
To help small Johorean businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19, Toppen introduced Soulmates, a platform that provides fully prepared, flexible spaces that can be booked by the hour or day. Designed to be a one–stop solution, Soulmates is ideal for beauty and wellness, fitness, and other skills-based service providers to share their services to customers in a comfortable and professional environment. The platform is targeted to be rolled out to other centres within the Ikano Centres portfolio in the near future.
Developments are also underway for its new multi-storey car park, targeted to launch in Q4 2022. The nine-storey structure will not only provide convenience with more parking spaces, but also introduce new retail additions ontop of its lifestyle RoofTopp. Toppen is also set to welcome Lulu Hypermarket’s first outlet in South Malaysia in 2022, providing an exciting grocery offer relevant to those living within the catchment area.
Ikano Centres Batu Kawan: Introducing the next phase of its meeting place in North Malaysia with the opening of an F&B drive-thru concept
In line with expanding new retail experiences to the growing township of Aspen Vision City, Ikano Centres recently launched phase two of its shopping centre with the opening of a new McDonald’s drive thru. In the coming months, KFC, Tealive, and Coffee Bean will be new additions to create many convenient food options across 200,744 sq ft gross leasable area
Megabangna Shopping Centre: Welcoming new partners Central Pattana (CPN) Plc.
Hailed as one of the largest Southeast Asia malls, the Bangkok-based shopping centre is now proud partners with Central Pattana (CPN) Plc, which recently purchased 56 per cent of Siam Future Development Plc (SF), Ikano Centres’ joint venture partner in Bangkok over the past ten years. Together with IKEA, the new partnership will continue to focus on securing Megabangna as a safe and great day out for the many people. New tenant additions include Topgolf, which will bring together exciting entertainment offers for visitors in East Bangkok in Q2 2022.
The focus of all commercial developments and digital innovation is part of Ikano Centre’s philosophy of putting the customers first. “We refer to our centres as ‘meeting places’ because customers today come for the experiences that we offer rather than just traditional transactions. Post pandemic, shoppers are now more aware, more savvy, and have plenty of options to get what they need,” said Ikano Centre’s Commercial Director Arnoud Bakker. “This is why we have a heavy focus on designing a dynamic tenant mix to cater to specific needs. We are also constantly on the lookout for new partnerships with tenants, platforms, and service providers that are able to create memorable experiences for our visitors.”
About Ikano Centres
Ikano Centres is part of Ikano Retail and we create retail destinations together with our IKEA stores. We develop land and invest in residential, office and other types of real estate to create vibrant destinations where people can live, work and play. Our shopping centres anchored by IKEA create meeting places that are the heart and hub of the community. We are destinations in itself, which offer an all-inclusive experience for every generation. To date, Ikano Centres operates five meeting places under different brand names spread across Malaysia and Thailand. To learn more, visit Ikano Centres.
About Ikano Retail
We are one of 12 IKEA franchisees, creating a better everyday life for the many people in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico – with plans to open more markets in the years ahead. Our IKEA businesses offer well-designed, Swedish home furnishings at affordable prices. Our Ikano Centres, anchored by IKEA, are meeting places at the heart of our communities. With investments in other types of real estate, we create destinations where people shop, work, live and play. We are the only franchisee owned by the family of Ingvar Kamprad, who founded IKEA in 1943.