Customers return with changed expectations
Opening in autumn 2019, food and experiences play a big role at Mall of Tripla. The urban centre will have over 10,000 square metres of restaurants and cafés – enjoyable tastes are always around the corner. Now Story, a restaurant that always keeps up with the times, joins Mall of Tripla’s restaurant offering by opening a restaurant on the fourth floor of the shopping centre.
The shopping centre business is undergoing transformation. Shopping centres are no longer for shopping only, but rather consumers long for experiences. An ever-larger part of consumption goes to experiences, such as culture, wellbeing, and eating out. Keeping this in mind, Mall of Tripla will not be a traditional shopping centre, but more of an urban centre offering not only extensive shopping and restaurant services but also new kinds of cultural activities and experiences.
“Before, the pay day was the time to go and buy all the necessities, such as winter shoes for the kids. Today, on the pay day people might head for a shopping centre to enjoy a cup of coffee or a bite at a restaurant and only then decide whether to go shopping or to the movies. Restaurants and cafés play an important role in the experience offering, so we are very happy to welcome Story in the Mall of Tripla family,” says Pirjo Aalto, Commercial Development Director at Mall of Tripla.
Story’s tale began at the Old Market Hall in Helsinki. The first Story restaurant was opened in the former lobby area of the market hall – a space that might have been hard to imagine as a restaurant. However, if you visit the restaurants now, the location seems obvious. The second Story restaurant is located in the Kamppi shopping centre, and it has a similar story. The fifth floor of the shopping centre had struggled to attract a steady customer flow, but since the new Kortteli restaurant block was created, the floor has been blooming, and Story played a big role in this transformation.
“We have the same positive challenge at Mall of Tripla: to create a place where people truly enjoy to spend time. It’s exciting to build in a neighbourhood that doesn’t really exist yet. We are eager to bring the potential out of the areas we are located in – and this is also true in Pasila. We run Story with our hearts and hope that we can bring some soul to the new area,” describes Anders Westerholm from We Are Group, the company behind Story.
The surroundings are very important to Story. Interior designer Johanna Laajisto will design the restaurant to be opened at Mall of Tripla. The restaurant concept will be localized to fit the Pasila neighbourhood, which is key to the Story philosophy. The new restaurant will have a clear and airy layout typical to Story restaurants – other than that, the final look will be revealed later.
“We always choose high-quality, approachable locations for our restaurants. Even though we have restaurants in shopping centres, at our heart we are brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs. Our restaurant at Mall of Tripla, for example, has direct access to the street. The area also has plenty of residents, jobs, and a hotel. We find it important that the people living and working in the area love our restaurants,” continues Westerholm.
Westerholm thinks that it’s a positive trend that shopping centres have in the recent years started to understand the importance of high-quality restaurants. Restaurants not only attract customers to the malls, but they bring people back over and over again and increase the duration of an individual visit.
Helsinki also gets praise as a food city from Westerholm. Consumers can choose a restaurant without worrying whether it offers good food and drink; this should be the base line nowadays. That is why the ambiance of a restaurant has become an important criterion when choosing a restaurant.
“At Story, we put weight on meeting different customer needs simultaneously. Someone might be enjoying a quick lunch in the middle of a busy day, while another is meeting an old friend, and someone else is working remotely from our restaurant. The key is a well-thought-out entity with heart and generous, emphatic service.”