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New retail space supply in Poland totalled nearly 650,000 sq m in 2015, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s latest report “Property Times”. 23 new retail schemes were added to the market while extensions accounted for 27% of the total supply. Both shopping centre tenants and owners are successfully adapting their sales strategies to the rapid growth of e-commerce in Poland.
In 2015, new retail supply reached around 650,000 sq m, of which 85% (551,000 sq m) was delivered in traditional shopping centres and retail parks with the remaining 98,000 sq m opened in retail warehouses. Modern retail stock in Poland stood at 13.23 million sq m at year-end 2015, of which 73% or 9.67 million sq m was in 404 traditional shopping centres. Retail warehouses account for 18% or 2.4 million sq m of the country’s stock. Poland also has 47 retail parks offering nearly 1 million sq m of retail space and 13 outlet centres with 210,000 sq m, accounting for 7% and 2% of its total stock, respectively.
The new retail space was delivered in 23 new retail schemes and 15 extensions, with more space coming onto the Polish market in H2 than in H1 2015. The largest new openings included Zielone Arkady in Bydgoszcz (51,000 sq m), Sukcesja in Łódź (46,000 sq m), Tarasy Zamkowe in Lublin (38,000 sq m) and Galeria Galena in Jaworzno (31,000 sq m). Smaller retail schemes opened in 2015 included Nowy Rynek in Jelenia Góra (24,000 sq m) and Galeria Neptun in Starogard Gdański (25,000 sq m). Warsaw’s total stock rose by 57,000 sq m following the completion of three schemes: MODO (16,000 sq m), Ferio Wawer (12,300 sq m) and Plac Vogla (5,160 sq m), and the extensions of CH Wola Park (17,500 sq m) and Factory Ursus (6,000 sq m). These were the first new openings in Warsaw since 2013.
Extensions of existing schemes provided 135,000 sq m of new retail space. Some 35,000 sq m was added to Centrum Bielany in Wrocław (renamed Aleja Bielany), making it the largest shopping complex in Poland with 145,000 sq m. Other shopping centre extensions included Ogrody in Elbląg, Wola Park in Warsaw and Magnolia Park in Wrocław. The share of extensions in last year’s total supply rose to 27% compared to the 20% average share for previous years.
Many new brands entered the Polish market in 2015, including Kiabi, Jacadi, Courir, Origins, SuperDry, a Tab and Dairy Queen opening their first stores in Warsaw. Brands that expanded outside Warsaw were: Esprit Bodywear, Colin’s, Lykke, Decimas, Gate and Sportisimo. The Polish homeware brand a Tab opened its stores in other Polish agglomerations shortly after its debut on the Warsaw market.
Average vacancy rates remain flat at around 2.9% for the eight largest Polish cities and at around 4% for regional cities. Higher vacancies are in secondary shopping centres, usually anchored by a large hypermarket, and in recently-opened schemes that have not been fully commercialized. The lowest vacancy rates at around 1.5% are in Warsaw, Wrocław and Lublin, while the highest are in Bydgoszcz, Radom and Toruń, standing at 6.0%, 5.7% and 5.2%, respectively.
In 2015, the highest rents in Warsaw’s prime shopping centres stood at EUR 120-140/sq m/month for small-sized clothing units while rents in the capital city’s other retail schemes were at EUR 80-100/sq m/month. Rents in other Polish agglomerations stand at EUR 35-45/sq m/month and EUR 20-25/sq m/month in small and medium-sized cities. Rents have remained flat since 2014. Landlords offer a range of incentives and financial contributions, particularly to high-end brands, with fully or partially turnover-based rents becoming more common.
Magdalena Sadal, Senior Research Consultant, Consulting & Research, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “In addition to the growing retail stock, the quality of the Polish retail market is also changing. The most notable trends include optimization of existing retailers, new brands entering the Polish market, extension of the entertainment offer in shopping centres, and retail space upgrading. All this is improving the competitive edge of retail schemes on the increasingly challenging Polish market, adding value and turning them into more attractive assets to investors.”
Online sales in Poland in 2016 are estimated to reach around PLN 38bn, representing a 15% y-o-y growth. E-commerce is the fastest growing sector of the Polish economy. It benefits from ongoing mobile and internet improvements and innovations, making online shopping an enjoyable shopping experience. Retailers who have so far focused on brick-and-mortar stores are now also turning to online trading. The largest retailers opening online stores in 2015 included H&M and Carrefour Polska. Other retailers are currently testing the e-commerce channel. Click & collect services are being offered by a growing number of stores. Retail schemes are also offering more free Wi-Fi zones in shopping centres, introducing beacons and mobile applications to meet consumers’ needs.
Outlook for 2016–2017
The development pipeline includes around 700,000 sq m of retail space which is scheduled to come onto the market by the end of 2017. Some 450,000 sq m is expected to be completed in 2016, of which 55% will be delivered in the largest agglomerations, 40% in cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants, and the remaining 5% in smaller regional cities. The largest shopping centres under construction, to open in 2016, are Posnania in Poznań (99,000 sq m) and Galeria Metropolia in Gdańsk (34,000 sq m).
A number of new brands are expected to come on the Polish market in 2016, including Tallinder (a new high-end fashion brand of the LPP Group) and Forever 21.
Kamila Wykrota, Head of Consulting & Research, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The Polish retail market is developing steadily in terms of both quantity and quality in line with the growing consumer requirements. The increasing competition between retail schemes leads to retail concepts and offers being better suited to market expectations. This is becoming a key success factor for both newer and older retail formats.”