Kringlan Mall – Repurposing Customer Proposition & Experience


Kringlan Mall


Placemaking · Placemaking design

The Challenge

Located one kilometer from downtown Reykjavik and built in 1985, Kringlan was Iceland’s first mall and had been a symbol of innovation and new thinking at the time. Evolving shopper habits since the eighties meant that Kringlan was now being used as a local community mall; a place of convenience for quick retail visits and specific missions rather than a destination or leisure experience that could inspire or delight. Wider consumer trends such as the desire for experiences versus shopping and the growing impact of online sales, prompted the Kringlan management team to develop a strategy to evolve the mall’s purpose and experience.

Other aspects of the challenge included the fact that existing hospitality at the mall was limited to an 80s-style fast food court. There was a need to build footfall with a more diverse proposition to increase the number of missions and reasons to visit. In order to achieve this, the mall required clear points of difference from other local, competitor retail offerings. The tired three-screen movie theatre at the site was in urgent need of an upgrade and there was an opportunity to create better links to the adjacent city theatre.

The brief in summary

Represent Kringlan’s new strategy and proposition through the development of an exciting leisure and entertainment offer to provide a credible alternative to downtown for evening, night and daytime socializing and events.

Key objectives

  • Represent the new offer as differentiated from the retail mall whilst remaining “part of the family”.
  • Change historic perceptions of a mall.
  • Increase dwell time.
  • Develop the night-time economy.
  • Appeal to a diverse range of user groups
    by representing a massclusive positioning
  • Capture the essence of the mall when first opened as a symbol of innovation and inventiveness.
  • Create a true food and entertainment destination for the people of Reykjavik.

The Solution

Named Kúmen – it is a place for gathering. Kúmen was conceived as an inclusive members club of a favorite family hotel resort, with some great partners and brands that make the experience a varied, rich, and fulfilling one. The scope included innovation and originality displayed throughout the physical space with the reinvigorated brand supported by integrated digital media.

A new entertainment and hospitality based proposition with four distinct zones was created including a multi-brand health and wellness centre, a new destination food hall, a two thousand square metre gym with open air jacuzzis and spa, and Oche!, a seven hundred square metre socializing anchor. The old movie theatre was upgraded to a four screen boutique cinema and the entrance and facade were redesigned with a dedicated entrance to differentiate the leisure space from the retail zone.

The new proposition was introduced with a refreshed look and feel suggesting an upscale hospitality brand. The name and visual identity were extended across all digital media channels including a dedicated website, integrated hybrid features, an app, social media presence and digital events. The launch was supported with an award-winning marketing campaign.

The Results

  • Revenues increased for tenants on average between 40-100%.
  • Greater footfall for both daytime and importantly evening visits.
  • Increased visits by certain groups and missions including business use, female use, brunch, bottomless brunch, lunch etc.
  • Increase in awareness of opening times and perception of a destination in its own right – Kúmen is open after the mall has closed.
  • Increase in visits by theatre goers from adjacent city theatre.
  • Movie theatre upgrade has meant Kringlan Kúmen is now the number one movie theatre destination in the city and is regularly sold out.
  • Overall footfall increased by up to 33%.
  • Awarded Transform Effectiveness awards for best brand experience and best brand redesign.
  • Shortlisted for the Revo Awards.