The luxury retail market in Central and Eastern Europe has enjoyed several years of steady growth. The buoyant economy has bolstered the appeal of the region, which has boosted the local purchasing power and tourist numbers. The growing affluence of societies is also leading to lifestyle changes and an increased demand for luxury goods. Although the Czech Republic and Russia top the list of preferred destinations for prestigious brands, Poland is also being increasingly targeted as a potential location.
Poland is the largest regional market and boasts the biggest growth potential. It already has more than 1.3 million affluent inhabitants and counting. The luxury market grew by approximately 10 percent year-on-year compared to last year and is forecasted to remain on the growth trajectory in the coming years, particularly in the segment of luxury jewellery, watches, luxury and premium cars, and alcohol brands.
The largest concentration of luxury brands in Warsaw is along the Royal Route, including boutiques in Moliera Street (Christian Louboutin, Valentina, Kenzo and Marc Jacobs), retail spaces in Metropolitan, Piłsudskiego Square (Dior, Prada, Tom Ford and Celine), Vitkac department store (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen), as well as boutiques in Ethos (Corneliani and Davide) and Dom Dochodowy in Trzech Krzyży Square (Ermenegildo Zegna, Derbys & Oxfords) and boutiques in adjacent streets (Omega, Carolina Herrera, Tara Jarmon, Tory Burch, and Dsquared2). The most affluent fashion connoisseurs of both global brands and Polish designers follow this route in search for the latest trends.
International luxury brands have become very discerning regarding their choice of location and neighbourhood for their stores. An appropriate city, a central location, a building with a unique design and character and suitable brands nearby are just preliminary input data in any analysis of a location’s potential. Cities with a high purchasing power and a strong tourism sector remain top destinations.
This year’s highlight in the region’s luxury sector is the entry into Poland of a cult brand Hermès, which is opening its store in Raffles Europejski in Warsaw. Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield was involved in the transaction as the sole letting agent on Raffles Europejski and represented Hesa, the owner of the property.
“Hermès is present in the world’s largest capitals and – as many other global brands – has been eyeing the Polish market for many years. It will open its first store in Poland in the retail section of Raffles Europejski in Warsaw on 27 November. The refurbished historic hotel boasts a prestigious location and neighbourhood, and meets the brand’s strict criteria. We are proud to have taken part in this transaction,” said Anna Hofman, Associate, Retail Agency, Cushman & Wakefield.
“Warsaw is becoming an increasingly attractive tourist destination, with Poland attracting ever-larger numbers of European, Asian and Middle Eastern tourists who appreciate its architectural heritage, historic places, nature and safety. Poland, however, also offers a well-developed business infrastructure and interesting entertainment options. The luxury hotel Raffles Europejski itself can be a tourist attraction for many discerning customers, and fashion brands opening boutiques in this location stand to benefit from its prestige and footfall,” adds Anna Hofman.