Meyer Bergman, the privately owned real estate investment firm, has announced the Q4 2017 performance figures for its 58,000 sqm Forum Nová Karolina and 35,000 sqm Futurum Hradec Králové centers, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is a hotspot for retailing, following a living wage increase of around seven percent, which has had a positive knock-on impact on sales across the country.
With consumer spending growing faster than that of the rate of inflation, and spend per person being the highest in CEE, retailing has become the Country’s primary market driver. At Forum Nová Karolina, sales increased by 9 percent in total for 2017 with cumulative sales reporting an eight-percent upturn in Q4 2017. Footfall figures also saw an increase of four percent for the year, as well as achieving record day footfall since the centre’s opening with 55,000 customers during its annual Oktobeerfest event. Futurum Hradec Králové witnessed a four percent overall increase in sales, with a remarkable uplift in November and December by a respective 13 percent and 10 percent.
2017 was also a successful year for leasing both centres with over 21 deals signed in Forum Nova Karolina, Ostrava, including new brands to the region fashion jewellery brand TOUS (37 sqm), footwear brand Loake Shoes (97 sqm), and iStores, the premium reseller of Apple products, upsized into a unit twice its original area. The new (194 sqm) shop is now the biggest in the Czech Republic, and the retailer’s flagship store.
Twenty-three deals were signed in Futurum Hradec Králové. Landmark deals included the first 130 sqm Starbucks to open in the North and East of Prague.
Peter Evans Vice President at Meyer Bergman, commented: “The positive sales and footfall figures at Forum Nová Karolina and Futurum Hradec Králove are testament to the economic boom that Czech consumers are benefiting from. They are voting with their feet, and as a result, we are delighted to have introduced a series of new and exclusive brands to our centers. Our aim is to solidify their place as the retail and leisure destinations of choice for the people of Ostrava and Hradec Králove.”
Since acquiring Futurum Hradec Králové and Forum Nová Karolina, Meyer Bergman has been actively working to broaden the caliber of brands at the centers. There is a clear strategy to further strengthen the tenant mix with new and exclusive international brands, which elevate its appeal to the catchment area and tourism market.
Lenka Matthews, Leasing Director, commented: “We are particularly delighted with the retailer confidence in Forum Nová Karolina, as we renew over 120 leases throughout the centre and introduce a list of exciting new brands. These retailer deals reflect well the centre’s excellent conditions and regional relevance since opening five years ago, and we look forward to announcing remaining signings over the coming months.”