Giving space back
Emporia is located in the newly developed Hyllie area in the city of Malmö in Sweden. Alongside 200 shops, it claims to have replenished the land it was built on – in the form of a 27,000m2 rooftop park located above 3 floors of retail. This is freely accessible public place with several differently landscaped areas, all offering views of the surrounding mixed-use development and green landscapes beyond.
The owners describe the park as having “no commercial value”, but they do believe it will help turn Emporia into a major local destination, bringing both locals and people from as far as Copenhagen into the centre, which will in turn increase sales and revenue. The space has already hosted a series of events, including an ice rink during winter, a car exhibition and even a “human cannonball” being shot from a cannon over a void in the roof!
On the sunny day we visited, the park felt generously spacious, with no direct reminder it was linked to a commercial development below. It is this kind of civic gesture that will differentiate the retail destinations from mere shopping centres in the future.
Serendipity and quirkiness
Mood Stockholm is a boutique mall in the heart of the city. Unlike typical shopping centre development models, this one has no big national anchor tenants. Its focus from the start is F&B, with a selection of international restaurant brands, including Spanish tapas chain Boqueria. The layout revolves around several lightwells, where the signature restaurants are located.
The space is designed as a continuous landscape of shops, restaurants and cafés, and features a large beauty and ‘styling bars’ department. The emphasis is on spending time here rather than selling products. There are plenty of opportunities for pausing, relaxing or meeting in an informal and serendipitous atmosphere. There are plenty of quirky details at every step, such as artworks, interior planting and even rentable meeting and dining rooms in the form of huts on stilts in one of the outdoor seating areas.
These details are not random, but aim at establishing The Mood as a destination within the city, especially amongst the local working population, by offering curated and stylised spaces as an alternative to the usual corporate environments.
Eataly is a an international chain featuring a three-pronged F&B offer of restaurants, shops and a cooking school. The restaurants range from quick-service counters to full-service dining, and the shops sell a range of groceries and homewares. Each of the three components is seen as equally important; knitting them together like this gives the brand a strong identity and helps engage a wider customer group than if it offered only one strand.
Eataly has defined itself as a place of cultural exchange, knowledge sharing and community-building around the theme of authentic Italian food, going far beyond simply selling products. This enables Eataly to engage on a deeper level, developing an ongoing relationship with its customers, a kind of emotional dwelling with brand which continues after they have left the physical store.