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Poland’s Shopping Landscape Transforms: Retail Parks Dominate New Development

COMMERCEPoland's Shopping Landscape Transforms: Retail Parks Dominate New Development

The cyclical report “At a Glance – the Modern Retail Market in Poland, 4th Quarter of 2023”, prepared by BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland, shows that the end of the year was marked by increased developer activity and a large number of retail network debuts. 80% of the new supply is represented by retail park openings.

Retail parks dominate new spaces

The retail market in Poland in 2023 was characterized by high developer activity. Despite the maturity of the retail sector and the high saturation of the market, the total retail space increased by nearly 440k sq. m., including both new facilities and renovations of existing ones. The fourth quarter was the best period in terms of supply – from October to December, 230k sq. m of modern retail space was delivered. The list of the largest newly opened facilities included: E.Leclerc in Jelenia Góra (over 24k sq.m), Ozimska Park Opole (17k sq.m) and N-Park Olkusz (15.8k sq.m). BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland experts predict optimistic forecasts for the next year, assuming that the new supply may be at a similar or even higher level.

In the structure of retail facilities, 80% of the new supply is represented by the opening of retail parks. The report indicates that the year 2024 will not bring changes in this trend.

Among the investments in 2023, retail parks accounted for 12%. New players are joining investors specializing in this segment, including Lords LB Asset Management from Lithuania, BHM from the Czech Republic, and Frey from France. Polish private investors also show an active involvement.

Culinary space and meetings in one place

The year 2023 was also rich in new openings and transformations of gastronomic spaces. Examples are the opening of the food hall Montownia in Gdansk, which is part of the multifunctional Doki project, the Market Hall in Bydgoszcz, and the Pedet zone as part of the Renoma project in Wroclaw. These are examples of food hall type gastronomic facilities that combine culinary space and offer the possibility of meetings, relaxation, and entertainment.

Online and offline shopping complement each other

The report shows that tenant turnovers in shopping centers in October increased by 5% year-on-year. These are consistent with the results of retail sales in current prices for the entire trade provided by GUS (Central Statistical Office) – here the increase was 4.8%. One notable sector is the fashion segment, where turnover in shopping centers increased by almost 9%. A positive piece of information was the increase in average attendance in shopping centers, which was measured by the Polish Shopping Centers Chamber. In October, it amounted to 2% y/y.

Traditional shopping combines with online purchases. The share of online sales in December 2023 was 9.4% – this is the level observed before the Covid-19 pandemic. Although forecasts for subsequent years predict increases, they will no longer be as violent as during the pandemic. According to Oxford Economics estimates, the share of online sales in the years 2024-2027 may reach 14%, which does not mean slowing down traditional trade. Omnichannel is and will be the standard in the coming years, combining the convenience of online shopping with the experience of stationary shopping.

Retail debuts

2023 was the year of many debutants in the modern retail market in Poland. During that year, 29 new brands appeared on the market, which is the best result since 2017. Known brands in Poland also open new formats, an example can be DIY networks, which have launched smaller concepts – Castorama Smart and Express, Bee Express, and Ikea with its Planning Studio. Meanwhile, Decathlon launched its first City format store, adapted to downtown locations.

The end of the year also brought further expansions. In the Domoteka in Warsaw, a showroom of the Primavera Furniture brand, a respected Polish furniture manufacturer, officially opened. Meanwhile, Medicover introduces a new brand of premium fitness clubs under the name Stellar.

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