Arena Centar, Zagreb’s largest shopping mall, has witnessed one of the most important business years since its opening in 2010. It has reaffirmed its clear leading position in the shopping centre sector, increasing the in-store turnovers by 10 percent compared to 2015 and attracting over 9 million visitors. Also, NEPI, New Europe Property Investments plc – a leading property investment and development group in the CEE – acquired Arena Centar.
Arena Centar delivered a strong performance during 2016. Leasing activity resulted in an overall occupancy of the shopping centre of 95 percent. The strongest results were shown in tenants’ store turnovers with an increase of 10 percent and spending per visitors by 7 percent, compared to 2015. Turnovers and visitors’ spending show continued steady growth, which is the result of a focused business and marketing strategy corresponding with the recovery of the local economy.
In terms of brand offer, Arena Centar reaffirmed its position as the flagship centre for the entrance of brands that are either new to the market or strong international brands. In 2016, Arena Centar saw 22 new store openings lead by the 1st thematically designed Old Wild West restaurant and the 1st Croatian NYX Professional Make Up store. Recently, 3rd in the world of its kind, the Samsung Experience Store has been added to the tenant mix. New openings were accompanied by 13 important extensions including those of 3 Inditex stores (Zara, Bershka and Pull&Bear).
GfK Market Research conducted in May 2016 confirmed the high level of satisfaction of customers. Customer satisfaction is driven strongly by the atmosphere in the shopping mall (cleanliness, opening hours), cinema, parking availability and a good selection of stores and products. It is further reflected in visit duration and spending during a visit: visitors spend an hour and a half in the centre on average and over 75 percent of them spend money during their visit.
In November 2016, NEPI acquired Arena Centar, with 62,100 sqm GLA, as well as 4.4ha of adjacent land. The purchase price was concluded at €237.5 million, making it the largest single asset transaction in South East Europe to date. NEPI has already started to invest its managerial and operational know-how in the centre, aiming at optimising the property and increasing its value to further strengthen the Arena Centar’s leadership on the regional market. NEPI will equally bring improvements to the commercial offer: new brands and new entertainment facilities.
Marius Barbu, Asset Manager, NEPI, highlighted: “Arena Centar and NEPI bring the best to the market, with exceptional commercial value, with a great future ahead due to the new ownership and, unparalleled offer for the communities it serves. We plan to further increase the value of the property and offer the public a flagship, unparalleled shopping and entertainment destination by bringing new fashion brands and upgrading entertainment offer. We intend to add 6000 sqm GLA to the existing ones and planning development around the shopping centre with new facilities with the intention of better integration with the neighbouring Arena Zagreb.”
In the first quarter of 2017, some important new openings are expected in the centre. MAC Cosmetics and the rapidly developing Croatian company Family will be opening their stores.