Nordic region’s largest shopping mall promises world-class shopping

6 Apr 2014

When the Mall of Scandinavia is completed in 2015, Arenastaden will have the largest shopping centre in the Nordic region. With an investment of SEK 5.5 billion, 100,000 square metres will be filled with shops, cinemas and restaurants – everything in a top-modern structure in which sound, lighting and design have been designed by individual architects.

When Jonatan Carlring was recruited to the Mall of Scandinavia in October last year, he came directly from working at the Emporia shopping mall, a slightly smaller but to a certain extent similar shopping centre in Malmö. Similar to the Mall of Scandinavia, it constituted a complete new build right from the foundation, which is unusual. Most shopping centres are expansions or conversions.

State-of-the-art concepts

“Designing the shopping mall from scratch enabled us to include all of our latest concepts,” Carlring says, who believes that there are many components that make the Mall of Scandinavia, when considered as a whole, more modern than other shopping centres. The trend of shopping centres moving from being needs-based to becoming an experience has been taken into account and refined. The settings have been designed for comfort – a living room feeling – so that you want to and can stay longer.

“Our specialists and architects work on several aspects of the design, such as the sound and lighting of various parts of the centre, which will contribute to making the whole experience highly pleasurable. However, at the end of the day, it is a shopping centre,” Carlring relates.

Stockholm is growing

In response to the question of whether there is a sufficient customer base in Stockholm for something this big, Carlring says without hesitation: “Yes.”

“The Stockholm region is expanding by two public transport buses per day, equal to one city of Uppsala in five years or one Malmö in ten years. Thanks to the rate of expansion and the number of people moving in, purchasing power is increasing. The city is expanding, so it is natural to meet the increasing demand with new retail centres. Sweden has a higher GDP than many countries in the rest of Europe and Swedes spend about 54 per cent of their income on shopping and entertainment.”

The income of the inhabitants of Stockholm is 17 per cent higher than the national average, and the city is growing faster than London. These facts are paramount when the choice of Arenastaden is motivated in figures on the boards hanging in Unibail Rodamco’s temporary offices, opposite the ongoing construction project in Arenastaden.

Brands taking shape

Despite the centre being undeniably large, a great deal of work has gone into making different brands and restaurants visible in their own individual way. Innovative store concepts are intended to encourage customers to regard the Mall of Scandinavia as a destination worth travelling long distances to experience.

“As long as they display high quality, innovativeness and are cool, there’s nothing stopping the stores and restaurants expressing their particular hallmarks on store fronts. The objective is to establish several new international concepts that are not currently available in the market. I believe that people will be prepared to travel long distances to visit new store concepts,” Carlring explains.

Arenastaden chosen for its location and activity

The advantages noted in the choice of Arenastaden include excellent location with two expressways, bus lines and a commuter train station. As a result of close proximity to Friends Arena, the office complex and the surrounding residential units, as well as the rooftop of the Mall, things will always be moving in the shopping centre. The arena is estimated to receive 1.5 million visitors per year.

“A broad customer base is important to us, as is easy accessibility and the fact that all visitors feel welcome,” Carlring says. “To date, the challenge has been getting the project to work in terms of construction technology. Since other contractors will be building offices and residential units on the roof of the Mall, a great deal of coordination with the various contractors will be needed.”

In total, the investment estimated at SEK 5.5 billion will create about 2,000 jobs. Carlring sounds convinced when he says that the Mall of Scandinavia will be something completely new.

“We are creating a shopping mall that will be something pleasurable, fun and exciting rather than needs-based. It will be an experience and a destination – much more than just shopping.”

This is the Mall of Scandinavia

  • 100,000 square metres, excluding residential units and offices.
  • One third, 2.3 million people, of Sweden’s population live within a 90-minute car journey.
  • The Mall will lead the visitor into a figure-eight pedestrian pattern between its four sections, which are inspired by earth, wind, water and fire.
  • 4,000 parking spaces
  • Cinema with 15 screens and 2,000 seats.