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Poland now has one of the largest retail markets in Europe

Following 20 years of growth, the Polish retail market has now become mature. At the end of 2013, there were 416 retail facilities with a total leasable space of more than 9.84 million sqm operating in Poland. A report by the Polish Council of Shopping Centres reveals that around 160,000 sqm of retail space became available on the Polish market in the first quarter of 2014.

“Poland has now broken the 10 million sqm, thus confirming its position as a market with one of the largest retail space in Europe. To compare, the largest market on our continent is France with about 17.5 million sqm of space designated for modern retail,“ commented Anna Szmeja-Kroplewska, Director-General at the Polish Council of Shopping Centres.

The retail sector in Poland is benefiting from strong internal demand. Even the challenging slowdown period did not discourage the Poles from shopping, which is good news for retail chains. From an investor’s point of view, it will be difficult to lose out on retail space in the nearest future; however, you need to know what to invest in. The forecasts in respect of GDP growth and consumption are positive (the Polish Ministry of Economy increased its forecasted GDP growth from 3.0 percent to 3.3 percent), still the Polish retail market has matured and has to be approached in a professional manner.

“The Polish retail market is evolving,” commented Fabrice Paumelle, Director of Retail in BNP Paribas Real Estate in Poland. “Retail chains need to be offered with the appropriate real estate formats that are tailored to the characteristic of particular locations. The Polish retail market is unequal in terms of the saturation in different formats of retail premises. For instance, we have markets of large cities with the extensive offer of shopping centers, but shopping centers mainly. There are no many high streets or different retail formats. Simultaneously, there are plenty local markets with no modern retail space at all. This situation creates opportunities for retail chains, developers and investors, but also for cities and their inhabitants. Of course, in order to reach business success appropriate knowledge and experience is needed in terms of each and every local market. I expect that we will face big changes on the Polish market – we are entering the new cycle of retail market development.”

Due to the dynamically developing retail market and growing market needs, the Polish Council of Shopping Centres is organizing the Retail Destination Initiative (ReDI) trade fair to be held on 28-29 May at the National Stadium in Warsaw. The event is to serve as a meeting platform for representatives of local governments, developers, investors and retail chains active on the Polish and Central and Eastern Europe markets, as well as those seeking investment opportunities in this attractive region.

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