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Smaller retail developments of up to 20,000 sq m, such as parks, have confirmed their resilience to the CEE pandemic and remain attractive to investors. In Poland, 170,000 sqm of new retail park supply is planned for 2021, in Romania 120,000 sqm and in the Czech Republic 70,000 sqm. – According to CBRE’s data. Similarly as in our country, in the countries of the region, consumers and investors appreciate their local character, development opportunities in small towns, securing of the most important needs and greater security in pandemics.
– Not only in Poland, but also in the other countries of the region studied by us, the retail parks segment shows potential for development. Their universal nature means that they can be established even in small towns. In addition, as in the Polish market, retail parks in the CEE region have proved more resistant to the negative impact of the pandemic than shopping centres. Despite the temporary closures of retail facilities that affected all countries, in 2020 we saw new facilities opening and investors starting further construction. As a result, many CEE countries have more such space planned for 2021 than in the previous year, says Piotr Karpiński, head of property management at CBRE in Poland.
Parks in Europe resistant to crisis
In Poland, out of 280 thousand sq m of newly created retail space, represented by projects of min. In Poland, out of 280 thousand sq.m. of newly built retail space, represented by projects with an area of at least 5 thousand sq.m., as much as 180 thousand sq.m. are small objects (with an area of up to 20 thousand sq.m.). The most popular format currently under construction is the retail park. If the analysis is supplemented by convenience schemes (less than 5,000 sq.m), the most popular format is retail parks. (less than 5,000 sq.m), 170,000 sq.m of new space will be under construction, concentrated only in retail parks. In the Czech Republic, which is smaller than us, 70 thousand sq.m. is being built, in Austria 9.4 thousand sq.m. and in Romania 120 thousand sq.m. Both in our country and in the rest of the region, such investments are carried out primarily in smaller cities, where the saturation of retail space is not as great as in the largest agglomerations. Investors appreciate the better availability of land for investment, and tenants appreciate lower maintenance costs, including lower rents. This has been an important factor in the persistence of such facilities and remains one of the key variables.
– Shoppers go to retail parks regularly, often for small daily purchases. They target consumers who visit at least once a week and want to buy the things they need quickly, without circulating between aisles. Entering the shop directly from the car park and the lack of common areas also give greater security in pandemonium. These are advantages ideal for the current times. It must be remembered, however, that although the market for retail parks in Europe will certainly continue to grow successfully, they cannot replace large centres, which offer far more leisure and recreational opportunities. Therefore, each of these formats has its unique features – says Piotr Karpiński.