Boris Stevovic, manager of Promenada shopping center – We are working on strengthening and promoting the standards we have implemented
This year, Novi Sad got the biggest shopping center in Serbia. The Promenada shopping center opened in mid-November on the corner of Oslobodjenja Blvd and Cara Lazara Blvd. The facility, which has a total of 150,000 m2, is an investment of NEPI Rockcastle, one of the leading companies in the field of commercial real estate in Central and Eastern Europe, worth over EUR 128 million. In addition to its various features, Promenada has also employed over 1,500 people.
In the first interview after the opening, the manager of the Promenada shopping center, Boris Stevovic, talks to eKapija about about how satisfied he is with what has been achieved and what the further plans are.
eKapija: It has been over a month since the opening of the Promenada shopping center. How satisfied are you with the first results?
– We are very satisfied with the results so far. Promenada opened on November 15, and the number of visitors shows how impatient the citizens of Novi Sad for the shopping center to open. In the first four days, Promenada was visited by close to 130,000 citizens, which alone is a great success. So far, over a million citizens have passed through the shopping center, which speaks to the need of consumers for such a large and all-encompassing trade center. In slightly over a month of operations, we have organized the Black Friday discounts, three music concerts and various other features in order to make the experience at the shopping center as good as possible.
eKapija: Promenada has an atypical look compared to other shopping centers in Serbia. Can you tell us more about it?
– With the total built surface of 150,000 m2, Promenada is the biggest retail facility in Serbia. We have tried to pioneer a new design in this area. Promenada is designed to let in large amounts of natural light, and the plaza in front of the shopping center features three basketball courts. Also, Promenada features two spacious balconies, one of which provides a view to the Petrovaradin Fortress. With its unique concept, where everything is consumer-oriented, Promenada is a vanguard of the look and the features of shopping centers of the future. We believe that each visitor's needs, wishes and expectations are unique and that the design and the offer of Promenada are meant to provide a unique shopping experience.
eKapija: Aside from its appearance, what sets Promenada apart from other shopping centers?
– What sets Promenada apart from other shopping centers is a unique and all-encompassing offer of the most famous local and global brands in one location. Our offer includes brands that are already familiar to the citizens, but also those that have been made available in this market for the first time. It is very important to us to have a full offer in one place, but also to provide as much comfort as possible to our visitors. We therefore cooperate with the Jungle baby brand to enable parents with babies to use strollers while shopping. Mothers with babies are also provided with a baby room at Promenada, specially equipped for the changing of diapers and breastfeeding.
Furthermore, the second floor is designed to include a unique foodcourt, featuring a rich gastronomic offer, which includes well known restaurant chains, but also local cafes and restaurants, which tourists find especially interesting, as they have an opportunity to taste local specialties. The second floor also contains attractive recreation and entertainment features – a modern movie theater complex with eight high-quality theaters, as well as a spacious gym.
eKapija: Promenada also offers brands that weren't available in Serbia before, such as Mohito, Maison Marasil, Kigili, House and Cropp. Do you plan to bring other new brands?
– Promenada seeks to meet all the needs of a modern consumer in all segments. We will always be trying to offer new brands to our visitors, but as Promenada opened only recently, it's too early to talk about new brands at the moment.
eKapija: What's your view of the competition in Serbia?
– The competition has to be respected. The Promenada shopping center opened in Serbia at the moment when the local populace was already well familiar with shopping centers. However, since the project started being planned, the operations on NEPI Rockcastle have been based on the initiative to have Promenada be a step forward when it comes to the operations of shopping centers in Serbia, both through its visual identity and the entire concept. Sticking to those principles, we have opened a modern shopping center which provides a unique shopping experience.
eKapija: In addition to a wider choice of goods, what do the city and the local community get from one such big project?
– The variety of the offer at Promenada is such that it meets the demands of all our fellow citizens, from the youngest to the oldest ones. Promenada is a unique shopping destination, but also a destination for entertainment, relaxation, recreation and enjoyment. We believe that citizens have been provided with a modern shopping center they like to spend their time at. Also, this investment is worth over EUR 128 million and has created 1,500 new jobs for the people of Vojvodina. Furthermore, the benefits to Novi Sad are also apparent when it comes to tourism – many people from Vojvodina now go to Novi Sad instead of Belgrade to shop and spend their free time.
eKapija: What are your plans for the upcoming period?
– Our primary goal is for our visitors to be satisfied with the features and the offer. We are working on strengthening and promoting the standards we have implemented, but also on affirming Promenada as a symbol of quality shopping and excellent entertainment.