On October 26, 2017, the new shopping gallery Loom in Bielefeld (a major German city in North Rhine-Westfalia with 330,000 inhabitants) will open its doors for the first time. 95% of the center’s shop spaces have already been leased. Negotiations for the remaining units are currently ongoing. Loom will accommodate more than 50 retail concepts that have not been in the city before.
The Irish fashion retailer Primark, who is currently expanding on the international market, will open its first store in the region. It will comprise 5,000 m² and extend over three floors. Further new brands include Adidas Originals, KULT, JD Sports as well as major national and international fashion retailers, e.g. “The Store” with the brands Camp David and Socxx. Also premiering in Bielefeld will be the mono-label stores of Thomas Sabo, Pandora, Stadtparfümerie Pieper (perfumery), Leder Berensen (leatherware) and MAC. Another highlight is “Kiehl´s” a New York-based retailer of upscale personal-care products. The anchor tenants include Intersport Voswinkel on 1,000 m² and Schuhpark Fascies (shoe store). The Thalia chain of book stores will open a second store at Loom.
Toys´R´Us will also return to the city and open a 2,000-m² toy store in downtown Bielefeld. The fresh and deli zone on ground floor is another customer attraction. It will feature a Rewe supermarket and a market hall where customers will be offered regional and national delicacies. A Rossman drug store rounds off the retail offerings in the center.
Many retailers, who had already leased a space in the old City-Passage, will return to new Loom. They include Deichmann, Bijou Brigitte, and Nordsee, but also local and regional retailers and franchisers.
“We are very pleased that we could convince so many retailers to join us at Loom. This achievement shows the quality of our shopping center, but also the appeal of Bielefeld as a city,” said Bielefeld-born ECE Senior Leasing Manager Sven Schwotzer, who is responsible for Leasing at Loom and knows the city very well.
Dining is central
Besides the retail offerings, Loom will also be focusing on providing exciting dining options. A food court named “Loom Kitchen” on the second floor, which will feature seating for 340 customers and nine restaurants operators offering national and international cuisine, and further F&B retailers all over the center will leave no culinary desire unmet. The food retailers at “Loom Kitchen” include KFC, Gustosa, Chutney, Spoleto, Lee & Lee, Burger BRO, Pomm Store, Freshbar, and Gurman‘s.
Moreover, Eiscafé Venezia (ice cream parlor) and Wiener Café Schwarzenberg on top floor invite visitors to stay and enjoy the delicacies on offer. Another F&B highlight are the three restaurants on ground floor which feature outside seating in the pedestrian zone and therefore contribute to the vibrant atmosphere downtown. Nordsee’s new restaurant has an open front to Stresemannstrasse. At Bahnhofstrasse lies the Asia food restaurant Zen Zen and, in addition, Mövenpick Marché will also return to Bielefeld after 15 years of absence.
Innovative and convenient services
The shopping gallery will enthuse its customers even more by offering state-of-the-art, customer-friendly services, e.g. the probably most modern parking garage in the Bielefeld region. The old winding access and exit road was gutted and widened. The center features approximately 550 parking spaces of at least 2.50 meters on two levels. The “Easy to Park” card, which is based on RFID technology, not only opens the barrier gate when entering or exiting the parking garage. It also enables cashless payment of the parking fees by direct debit. Customers can find their car easily and conveniently using the “Car Finder” which is based on QR-code identification. A parking guidance system clearly shows available parking spaces with a green and red light above the individual parking space, which can already be seen from a distance. Customers can use a digital 3d wayfinding system or the indoor navigation feature of Google Maps to find their way around the mall.
Family-friendliness is valued high at the center. Besides 30 extra-wide parking spaces (2.70 meters) for family cars, automatic doors, and an extra wide elevator for kid strollers provide high convenience. Specially-fitted family restrooms and additional mother-child restrooms with baby-care facilities and a family-friendly service corner in the food court with a microwave and bottle warmer ensure a relaxed shopping stroll with kids.
A premium architectural shopping center design provides a suitable backdrop for a unique shopping experience at Loom. Many design elements refer to the long textile manufacturing tradition on site. A 26-meter express escalator at the heart of the center extends from ground floor to second floor. It is a comfortable transport connection to the food court and the parking decks. Looking up from the escalator gives visitors an imposing spacial experience below the glass dome and also gives them an extraordinary impression of the interior architecture.
“The 135-million investment into an extensive refurbishment and the repositioning of the shopping center will provide new glamor to the traditional shopping destination in downtown Bielefeld. Loom will convince visitors with its impressive ambiance, the tailored tenant mix, and the varied services. “With this new shopping gallery, Bielefeld will not only get a new customer attraction, it will also gain more attention in the surrounding region,” says Dr. Volker Kraft, Managing Director of ECE Real Estate Partners, which had acquired the shopping center for the ECE Prime Shopping Centre Fund in 2011.
The construction works of the new inner-city shopping gallery is perfectly on schedule. The interior work and the construction of the roof and facade are in full swing. The current interior works include the laying of tiles, dry walling, the ceiling of the mall as well as the installation of facade elements and balustrades. Escalators and customer elevators have already been installed. The outer layer of the building is also taking shape. Among others, the current work includes the fitting of glass and the facade elements at Stresemannstrasse.