Ingka Centres appoints global sales and leasing manager

Ingka Centres, formerly Ikea Centres, has appointed Vasco Santos as global sales and leasing manager.

Santos will be responsible for implementing sales and leasing strategies for Ingka Centres' new €5.8 bn global investment platform, which includes entering new markets such as India.

Ingka has already unveiled plans to invest €3 bn in centres in 30 major cities across Europe, Russia, North America, Asia and Oceania, with the first locations to be unveiled in the near future.

'We are responding to the trend of people increasingly living in city centres. Our vision is to be close to the ‘many people’, so this is a logical step to reaching them in a new way. Our customers’ needs are at the heart of everything we do,' Santos said.

See also PropertyEU's interview with Ingka Centres' managing director Gerard Groener in the April edition of the magazine

Santos has 23 years’ experience in retail and commercial real estate, working with retailers like Decathlon, Intersport and Parfois. He joined Ingka Centres in 2006 (at the time Inter Ikea Centre Group then Ikea Centres), and most recently led Ingka Centres portfolio in Spain, Portugal and France.

Ingka's next-generation city centre projects will be retail-led but could include residential, hotel, and social community services, depending on local demands, Santos said.

'Physical retail will never disappear, but we want our destinations to go far beyond shopping and invent the future, providing experiences that can’t be replicated online, and be places people living nearby have multiple reasons to visit,' he noted.

Ingka Centres already operates 43 retail destinations in 12 different markets in Europe, as well as Russia and China. The firm's new strategic vision will see this increase to 70 locations in existing and new markets by 2025, hosting 1 billion visitors.

In another major move, Ingka Centres announced last year that it is entering India for the first time, following Ikea retail, which opened its first store in Hyderabad in 2018.

'Again there will be no one size fits all formats for these IKEA anchored destinations – a mix of city centre, suburban and edge of town locations are all being considered according to local demographics,' Santos said.

Ingka Centres is also ramping up investment in China, investing around €2 bn to launch three new mixed-use projects in Shanghai, Changsha and Xi’an.


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