115,000 sqm retail spaces were delivered in 2018, with 28% more than the total surface concluded in 2017. The majority of the new retail spaces are being located in small and medium sized commercial parks. According to CBRE real estate consultancy firm, one of the strongest trends on the retail market is the increase in the share of the online component. In 2018, there were 30% more sales made through online channels than in 2017, but Romania is still far behind Western markets.
The growth of the online sales component is responsible for many stores expanding their spaces in order to function as showrooms as well. Out of the total national stock of modern commercial spaces, 32% are located in Bucharest, and 68% located in the rest of the country. Shopping centers account for 58% of the total space, and remain the developers favorite retail format, and 42% are commercial parks. Another trend observed in 2018 is the investors focus on smaller, secondary or even tertiary, regional cities such as Satu Mare, Baia Mare, Roman or Bistrița.
The largest three retail projects of 2018 delivered in the second half of the year and comprise a leasable area of 71,000 sqm were Shopping City Satu Mare, Value Center from Baia Mare and Value Center from Roman.
In 2019 it was announced the completion of circa 270,000 sqm of commercial spaces, out of which 11% will be situated in Bucharest, and 70% will be located in shopping centers. Of the 12 commercial projects currently under construction, the largest in terms of the developed area are: Openville Timisoara with 47,000 sqm, Festival Centrum Sibiu with 43,000 sqm, Shopping City Târgu Mureş with 32,600 sqm , Târgovişte Mall with 31,300 sqm, DN1 Baloteşti with 28,000 sqm, the extension of Electroputere Parc from Craiova with 22,100 sqm, and the expansion of the Colosseum project in Bucharest with 20,000 sqm.