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How is Promenada Novi Sad Still Winning during the Pandemic?

Despite the difficult times, the retail industry is facing worldwide, the Serbian shopping center Promenada Novi Sad is still reporting positive business results.

According to NEPI Rockcastle, the developers and operators of Promenada Novi Sad (Promenada), the number of their visitors and sales revenues has not only increased this year in comparison to 2020 but even to 2019 results when consumer behavior was still not affected by the pandemic.

In this article, we will list out all the key factors that ensured Promenada a successful business year, and conclude at the end what is the winning formula for a shopping center success story.

Health and Safety First

Promenada managed to fight the challenges of the pandemic from the very beginning, by firstly making sure their mall was safe for visitors. They were among the first malls in Serbia to have received a COVID 19 Safety Certificate from the Swedish organization Safe Shopping Centers. This certificate reassured the public that their hygiene measures were up to par with all the international safety standards.

They also made sure to educate shoppers about their own personal responsibilities to comply with safety and health measures, which they published on their website here

Promenada Novi Sad Interior, photo by Jelena Ivanović.

Promenada, in partnership with the government, also supported the community to fight the effects of the pandemic by arranging free vaccination stands within their premises. The stands are still open every day from 10 am to 8 pm. Details about the vaccination stands are published on their website here.

A Great Tenant Mix

One of the key factors why Promenada stayed strong was undoubtedly due to its impressive tenant mix, which includes the most famous international and local brands on the market. Its tenant mix, which you can view here, includes Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Reserved, Mohito, Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein Jeans, Diesel, Reply, Kigili, Mona, Calzedonia, Fashion & Friends, Nike, Intersport, Buzz, Sport Vision, Gigatron, iStyle and many others.

But even during these difficult times, Promenada continued to surprise its visitors with new tenants and concepts. Its retail offer was expanded this year with more worldwide known cosmetic brands, such as The Body Shop and L’Occitane.

Also, recognizing the importance of services, Pomenada welcomed a tourist agency JET TRAVEL to its mix and a modern pet shop Pet Republic. Speaking of pets, Promenada also became this year a pet-friendly shopping center, which made the mall even more accessible and inclusive.

But adding new stores was not enough for Promenada’s management. This year the management also made sure to improve the communication and flow of traffic between levels, by adding an extra escalator between the -1 and the ground floor.

Promenada Novi Sad Terrace, photo by Jelena Ivanović

It’s All About Entertainment Now

Besides its wide offer of stores and service units, Promenada is a true magnet for visitors due to its wide offer of great restaurants and beautiful large terraces, where many open-air events take place.

Promenada has truly become a popular entertainment destination for the citizens of Novi Sad. Under the concept “Open Air“, Promenada has hosted spectacular events, in collaboration with many famous organizations and individuals.

For instance, Promenada partnered with the Serbian National Theatre to host open-air theatre performances promoted as ” theatre underneath the stars”.

It also hosted many concerts by famous local musicians Nina Badrić, Hari Mata Hari, Petar Grašo, Bajaga and Instruktori.

Due to its wide offer of sports brands and sport equipment stores, as well as housing a gym and an open-air basketball court, Promenada hosted many events for sports lovers. For instance, it collaborated with the National Teqball Federation and hosted the local challenger tournament.

Promenada overall makes sure to be part of the community of Novi Sad by supporting all major city events. This year Promenada has partnered with Oktober Fest and Serbian Fashion Week, which are the upcoming events everyone in the city is looking forward to.

Promenada Mall Exterior

The Winning Point

We can learn much from Promenada’s success story, which is widely due to Nepi Rockcastle’s undeniable international experience in shopping center development and property management operations.

But if we had to point out one key factor that has made sure Promenada stayed on top of the retail game in Serbia during these difficult times….it would be the fact that Promenada is not a shopping center!

Yes, you read it right! Promenada is now a community center, a place where citizens of Novi Sad come to socialize, have fun, finish all-important daily tasks, and much more.

Promenada Novi Sad, with its open-air spaces and major event activities that even go beyond its own premises, is showing us the future of shopping center management and development. And although online retail is expanding and consumer behavior is changing, malls like Promenada will still be winning, as the need for personal contact, being part of a community, and socializing will never die out…because it is exactly what makes us human.

Nevena Kostichttp://www.retailsee.com
Nevena Kostic is a retail real estate expert that worked as a retail consultant since 2006, leasing out shopping centers and helping out international retailers expand in the SEE region. In 2013 she founded retailsee.com, with an aim to promote real estate projects and retail companies to the international business real estate community.
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