Forgotten Shopping Centre Near Zagreb Gets Breath of New Life

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Matea Grbac writes on the 19th of July, 2019, when he took over the leading position of the third largest shopping centre in the whole of Croatia, Westgate, Deputy Managing Director Denis Čupić announced a series of radical changes. Now, just one year later, Novac decided to visit this somewhat forgotten centre near Zagreb and find out if something really has changed.

Upon arrival, it was obvious that the announced change of the focus from the fashion to the family really had happened, and 76 percent of the rented spaces housed home decorating shops and those with children’s equipment and clothing, while fashion stores fell into another plan.

”The marketing story was a failure ever since the very beginning. Rather than turning to the neighbouring area, namely to Krapina-Zagorje County and the western part of Zagreb, the former government targeted the east of the city. Although now, after eight years of bad business results, it’s difficult to return, I believe that by completely changing the policy and introducing some new brands, we’ll succeed. A good indicator of our work is our steady growth of 15 percent when it comes to people visiting,” explained Čupić.

Otherwise, in March last year, the ownership and management structure of this shopping centre was taken over by an Austrian investment firm.

Along with the changed policies and focus of this Zagreb shopping centre, the new leaders brought some new brands over the course of a year. In the interior decoration sector, Prima COCO maison, Bima, TEDi, and the renowned Mobel Land, which will expand over an additional 20,000 square metres in autumn, all readily opened their doors to the public. Along with the aforementioned brands are some brand new fashion names, bookstores, the renowned Helen Doron foreign language schools, and even a martial arts club.

”Our idea is to finally divide the centre into three parts and offer our visitors 20,000 square meters of interior decorating shops, 4,000 square meters for conversion into a children’s play area that will be four times bigger than any other playroom in shopping malls, and the remaining 70,000 square meters would have fashion stores as well as other entertainment facilities placed in them.

Most of the changes will only be visible in autumn. Our plan is to attract some of the new international brands we’ve already had conversations with. Because of the clauses we have in the negotiations, we can’t yet reveal the names, but they’re primarily brands that have only one or two outlets in Croatia” he added.

In addition to opening new stores, they also strengthened the gastronomic and entertainment offer of the centre. They re-opened the bowling alley, and the first children’s cinema with sixty seats and a play area was also put in place.

”We’re currently working on multifunctional halls with 250 to 350 seats, and we expect to complete all that before the end of the month. We already have queries for four conferences, as well as for six weddings, as some space will be able to be converted into a wedding salon,” explained Čupić, adding that soon, they will start building a multiplex cinema, too.

Along with all of the drastic changes they have already made in the centre, they also want to convert an outdoor zone spreading over 480,000 square feet of construction land. In this area, in partnership with their partners, the Zagreb centre’s new management plans to build two to three brand new hotels with 100 to 120 rooms, and even an outdoor wedding resort.

“We have already sold a plot and the works will get going soon, we’re still in negotiations. Next year, we’re planning to open additional home improvement stores, which will include a number of interior decorating shops with two ceramic and lighting salons. In the middle of next year, we expect the completion of a new hub, which will enable us to enter the highway directly,” concluded Čupić.

Follow our dedicated business page for much more. If it’s just Zagreb you’re interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow and check out Zagreb in a Page.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment