"Vremena Goda" Luxury Shopping Center, Moscow, Russia

                     an environmental transformation

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Client Profile:

The Vremena Goda Luxury Shopping Center was acquired by two Western real estate asset management firms: the Canadian "Ivanhoe Cambridge" and the Austrian "Europolis". The hope of the new owners was to turn it into a successful shopping center catering to the upper class customers in the luxury segment. With an expensive fit out, prime location near to a wealthy residential area in Moscow, the Vremena Goda shopping center contains many outlets featuring  luxury goods from some of the the world's best known brands as well as high-end entertainment and restaurants.

 

Project Scope and Goal:

Shortly after the acquisition of the shopping center, the new owners realized several key problems affecting day-to-day business. Despite the attractiveness of the concept and the quality of the center, it suffered from extremely low attendance, low average spend, short and targeted visits by the center's patrons (which is an evidence of their lack of interest in spending extended amount of time in the center), and generally low sales numbers, further frustrating the tenants of the center who paid high lease rates for the commercial space they occupied. The owners, together with the property management company, decided to turn thigs around and make Vremena Goda a more attractive shopping destinaion and drive more traffic of customers.

 

As part of this engagement, Senteo was asked to re-design the internal common areas and retail invironments aimed to provide greater level of comfort and engagement for the customers. In addition, the project team was also involved in creating external communication campaign that would attract target-audience customers to the Vremena Goda as a prime shopping and entertainment destination. The external signage strategy along with unique building facades, changing during the day and nighttime, was designed to spur interest and to create a desire to "experience" a fulfilling visit to the Vremena Goda luxury shopping center.

Themed envornmental designs were applied to areas that would identify with a wide variety of segments and their personal affinities, such as leasurely time in cozy cafe's and bar stations for adults, gaming areas for children of different ages, fashionable leasure zones for the ladies, cosmetic and relaxation zones, high-end style organic juice bars, buttler service for VIP guests, eclectic club-styled zones for those with the taste of modern luxury. In short – envirnmental elements that would help to "slow" down the guests and let them escape, even for a few enjoyable moments, into a place where they can pleasantly spend time, actively or passively. The service quality provision of the Vremena Goda, involving the staff culture, obviously played a notable part in the strategy as well. Recognizing the economic status of the average shopper, the service had to be, beyond any doubt, superb in order to reflect the level of quality built into the space. Themed events were incorporated into a calendar of activities and events that would be scheduled each week and month to attract visitors. One of such events was an annual Designer Christmas Tree exhibition, featuring Christmas-styled trees and decorations made by known celebrities and artists. Art collection exhibitions, photography, culinary tastings and other events helped to promote the center's status as a destination where one may not only shop for luxury but also enjoy just being there with friends, family, or even alone.

 

Results:

Even within a short period of time, while not everything had been yet launched, the center began to experience rise in customer traffic on weekdays and weekends. After about three months, the shopping center attendance was trippled, with a large portion of incoming customers not shopping in one specific place, but in multiple places and with a much longer time of average visit. The poll conducted among the customers identified a strong positive trend in customer delight and indication that they would return again and recommend their friends to come also. The center's tenants' sales levels also rose dramatically, benefitting from better external marketing and effective inside navigation and merchandizing displays across the entire center.

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