A new shopping centre near Schengen, many more to follow
Borders, the new shopping centre near Schengen, in the south of Luxembourg, opened its doors on Thursday.
The situation of the shopping centre could hardly be better. It is located on the border with Germany and France and directly at the motorway exit of the A13.
The people at the head of Border are therefore hoping to lure, not only customers from Luxembourg, but also from the border region.
"The shopping centre is easy to reach for customers from the three countries," said Alexandra Machot, communications manager of the developer Ikogest.
Together with the construction company Luxembourg Capital, Ikogest invested €30 million in the project.
The department store has a total area of 7,000 square meters. The supermarket Delhaize will have an area of 3,500 square meters (of which 2,300 square meters for the sales area). "It is the largest Delhaize in Luxembourg," Machot said.
A restaurant and 20 shops - including a perfumery, a French bakery and an optician - will also be part of the complex, but only half of the stores opened their doors on Thursday.
"The negotiations are still ongoing with the others and with the restaurant," Machot said. When the remaining shops will open in the department store, therefore, is not yet clear.
As the Luxemburger Wort already reported on Saturday, the neighbouring communities fear the competition will be bad for their traditional shops in the city centres.
However, Machot does not see a rivalry - especially to the drugstore and supermarkets on the other side of the Moselle in Perl. "We will only supplement the already existing product offering," she said.
Adjusting the offer to the demands
Borders' opening is only the beginning -- further shopping centres are opening in Luxembourg in the near future.
Already on September 27, the shopping centre "Nordstrooss" in Marnach will open its doors. On October 26, "Opkorn" will open in Differdange, in November a "Cactus" supermarket with 12 shops will open its doors in Bettembourg.
2018 and 2019 will then see the opening of an "Auchan" in Cloche d'Or as well as "Royal Hamilius" in the city centre.
(The following map shows the location of shopping centres in Luxembourg. Those that will open soon are marked in yellow.)
For Claude Bizjak of the Luxembourgish Commerce Confederation (CLC), the increase in the number of department stores in Luxembourg is a normal phenomenon. As the habits within society change, so the commercial offer also has to change.
"The population of Luxembourg is constantly growing and the needs of customers have changed in recent years. Those who work all day and then pick up the children from the day care centre, must have the possibility to do their shopping at 7pm," said Bizjak.
In such situations the advantage of a department store is clear: Here the customer can find almost everything under the same roof -- whether it's a butcher, supermarket, dry cleaner or newspaper shop.
Therefore, according to CLC, the same trend will also continue in the future. "The business world is always oriented to the needs of the customer. Ultimately, it is the demand that determines the offer," said Bizjak.
(By Michèle Zahlen, translated from German by Barbara Tasch)