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New retail chains enter Poland

In the first half of 2017, there were only approximately 30,000 sqm of retail space delivered to the market in Poland, half of which are extensions. The total stock of modern retail space at the end of June 2017 reached about 11,2 million sqm. Supply for 2017 is estimated at a similar level compared to the previous year (almost 400,000 sqm), according to the latest report by Colliers International.

At the end of Q2 2017, almost 750,000 sqm of shopping centre space was under construction with planned opening dates estimated for the end of 2019, approximately 47 percent of which will be completed in July-December 2017. Shopping centres are mainly being built in the largest agglomerations (71 percent of space) and also in the smallest cities, below 100,000 inhabitants (21 percent of space). The largest projects under construction are currently: Galeria Młociny (73,000 sqm) and Galeria Północna in Warsaw (64,000 sqm), Wroclavia (64,000 sqm), Forum Gdańsk (62,000 sqm) and Serenada in Kraków (42,000 sqm).

“We are still seeing extensions and modernisations of existing schemes in the market, which make up approximately 12 percent of current space under construction. In the first half of 2017, new phases of expanded shopping centres were completed: Auchan Hetmańska in Białystok, Outlet Park Szczecin and Auchan Gdańsk and the schemes such as Warsaw’s Arkadia, Forum Gliwice and IKEA Port Łódź were renovated,” said Katarzyna Michnikowska, Associate Director, Research and Consultancy at Colliers International.

In H1 2017, several new retail chains had their debuts in Poland, including Trespass (first regular store in Blue City in Warsaw), Freya (Stary Browar in Poznań), befree (Posnania) and Maxi-Cosi (Galeria Katowice). Some retail chain debuts were announced for 2017 in the Polish market. New brands will open their stores in Warsaw in Galeria Północna (Hamleys, Love Republic, Zarina, Newbie, 4Faces), Arkadia (Nissa, Victoria‘s Secret), Złote Tarasy and also in Galeria Mokotów.

Also Polish retail chains are successfully expanding in CEE countries, with Reserved in Minsk, Belarus and Sizeer in Riga, Latvia opening their first stores.

Lease transactions worth mentioning include: P&C (4,000 sqm) in Wroclavia, Van Graaf (3,250 sqm) in Forum Gdańsk, Zara (3,500 sqm) and Forever21 (1,000 sqm) in Kraków’s Serenada, Intermarche (2,610 sqm) in Galeria Młociny in Warsaw, TK Maxx (2,400 sqm) in Atrium Biała in Białystok and Jysk (1,100 sqm) in Vivo! Krosno.

More units once leased by Alma have found tenants, for example Biedronka in Tarasy Zamkowe in Lublin (1,600 sqm) and in Galeria Jurajska in Częstochowa (1,320 sqm), Carrefour in Focus Zielona Góra (1,480 sqm) and in Kraków’s Galeria Kazimierz (2,900 sqm).

Polish retail chains remain attractive investment products in the market. In the first quarter of this year CVC Capital Partners has bought Żabka Polska (approximately 4,500 grocery stores in Poland) from Mid Europa Partners.

At the end of June 2017, the average vacancy rate in shopping centres for the eighteen biggest Polish cities was 4.1 percent and was 0.6 p.p. higher than in December 2016. The largest amount of available space is in Katowice (5.9 percent) and the lowest in Warsaw (2.6 percent). Among large cities (150,000-400,000 inhabitants), the most vacant retail space is noted in Radom (10.9 percent) and the least in Bielsko-Biała (1.3 percent).

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