Retail developers maintain their focus on regional cities for new projects

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Romania’s modern retail stock reached 4.02 mln. sq m at the end of the first quarter of 2022 and the year ahead contours as being propitious for both retail formats, retail parks & shopping centres, considering the new supply and the under-construction projects.

  • In the first three months of 2022 almost 20,000 sq m were added to the modern stock, representing barely 12% from the total stock expected to be delivered by the end of the year
  • More than three quarters of the pipeline will be delivered in regional cities, with Alba Iulia at the forefront
  • +10 new brands have already announced or already made their entry on the local market during this year, Primark, and Footlocker among them.

Romania’s modern retail stock reached 4.02 mln. sq m at the end of the first quarter of 2022 and the year ahead is propitious for both retail formats, retail parks & shopping centers, considering the new supply and the under-construction projects. Even if by the end of the previous year, the stock composition seemed to change, with retail parks gaining more from the total share, 2022 started with the inauguration of Colosseum shopping center extension of 16,500 sq m.

Nonetheless, the attributed ratios are: 37% of the total modern stock area is claimed by retail parks while the remaining 63% is attributed to shopping centers, but this ratio will change by end of the year as there are a significant number of retail parks in the pipeline.

The year-to-date new supply amounts 19,500 sq m, the combined surfaces of the extension of Colosseum shopping center in Bucharest developed by Nova Imobilare and Băilești Retail Park in Băilești, Dolj County gathering 3,000 sq m built by the local developer Legabris Prest.

Shaped in the past two years as the preferred type of retail development, retail parks claim 89% from the 2022 future new supply, while shopping centers will gather the rest of 11%. Moreover, the total area to be delivered with a traditional retail format (shopping center) is comprised in only three schemes, out of which two are extensions (of Electroputere Parc in Craiova and Mall Alba in Alba Iulia) and just one new project, respectively AFI City, developed by AFI Europe in Bucharest.

“These 17 retail development projects of 2022 represent a good number for the market, but it’s important to acknowledge that there is still need of retail spaces as Romania register one of the lowest vacancy rate in Europe (under 3%). And in this context, it is important also to notice more interest from Investors and Retailers for sustainable and zero carbon developments and operations,” explains Carmen Ravon, Head of Retail Occupier CBRE for CEE region.

Long-awaited brand entries in Romania this year

It’s a remarkable year for Retail considering the important names entering the Romanian retail market, and we can attest that Retailers consider Romania and CEE as the best destinations for their business development. We are often involved in their decision-making process when looking to step into a new market. It is a very complex effort and a data-based operation that sometimes takes years and it’s done in every detail,” says Carmen Ravon, Head of Retail Occupier CBRE for CEE region.

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