According to the latest data from Cushman & Wakefield, the average retail vacancy rate in Poland’s largest cities currently stands at 3.5 percent, down by 1.2 pp year-on-year. More importantly, falls were recorded in six out of the eight largest cities, with the availability of retail space at the lowest in Krakow, Łódź and Szczecin. This suggests a gradual retail recovery in Poland, says Cushman & Wakefield. Meanwhile, as the market continues to stabilize, retail landlords should increasingly turn their focus on diversifying their offer.
“The lowest retail vacancy rate of 1.5 percent is in Krakow, down from 1.9 percent in 2022. Interestingly enough, the retail availability rate for Łódź stands at 1.8 percent, down from last year’s 4.1 percent. Szczecin is in third place with only 2 percent of its retail stock being vacant, representing a decrease of 2.6 pp year-on-year,” comments Ewa Derlatka-Chilewicz, Head of Research, Cushman & Wakefield.
The highest vacancy rate of 4.4 percent was reported in Poznań, even though it fell by 4.7 pp over the year. This, however, is attributable to the closure of two retail schemes that had large volumes of vacant space in 2022. The only large cities to see vacancy rates edge up over the year were Katowice – 3.9 percent (+0.5 pp y/y) and Wrocław – 4.3 percent (0.3 pp y/y).
“Falling vacancy rates are undoubtedly one of the key commercial property market metrics reflecting a situation in each segment. Retail landlords should not, however, let themselves be beguiled by these lower figures. As the market situation calms down, this presents a good opportunity to review shopping centre sales and marketing strategies. According to one of our latest surveys into the needs of shopping centre customers, a large choice of retail stores is key to 69 percent of buyers while F&B outlets are important for 38 percent. This illustrates how vital it is to reexamine a tenant mix so that shopping centres better address changing consumer trends,” adds Ewa Derlatka-Chilewicz.