Retail focuses on smaller – sized proximity projects , while logistics hubs are reinforced by the continuing e-commerce growth

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Pandemic brings structural changes on the retail and industrial segments of the real estate market: proximity retail gains further ground, while logistic keeps on its consolidation on grounds of 2020 accelerated growth in online sales, according to “The New Face of Bucharest” analysis conducted by the Bucharest Real Estate Club.

The most important trend of industrial real estate market in Romania in the past 5 years has been the growth pace of the modern retail market, but also of the logistics sector, which has experienced the best period of the history of the real estate market in Romania, Cristi Moga, Head of Research Cushman & Wakefield Echinox, said during a press conference presenting “The New Face of Bucharest” analysis.

„The retail and e-commerce companies rented a cumulated area of more than 400.000 sqm in Romania in 2020. Bucharest remains the most attractive city, comprising 65% of the total volume transacted last year. Proximity has a major impact on consumers` habits; as a consequence, the food operators remained active, ensuring new locations in the proximity of the most dense residential hubs, while developers focused on smaller – sized parks, with a limited mix of retail and services,” Cristi Moga pointed out.

”The total E-Tail – tangible products – market in Romania reached a 5.6 billion EUR value at the end of 2020, up by 30% as compared to the previous year. Daily sales also reached the 15 million EUR volume,” said Raluca Radu, Co-organizer of GpeC (E-Commerce Awards Gala) at the same press conference.

As online sales market continued its accelerated growth despite the Covid-19 pandemic, logistic developers consolidated their logistic hubs near Bucharest, investing more in new logistic parks.

The hubs in the proximity of A1 and A3 of the Capital city are dubbed as the most notable in this respect, with a new area gaining momentum, Buftea – Chitila, in the vicinity of the new Capital`s ring road, A0.

“The e-commerce operations are changing the paradigm in logistic. Large e-commerce players will continue to generate demand for XXL hubs logistic formats as well as for cross-docking platforms,” Dana Bordei, Commercial Director of WDP logistic developer stated in her turn,

From our Group activity we see synergies between the office and the logistic segments, with tenants from the office buildings which we aim to attract to our logistic parks,” said Alexandra Popa, CFO of Element Group, which includes the logistic developer Element Industrial.

As for the shopping malls, Cristi Moga said that developers are already showing prudence, as the capacity of absorption of the big cities is growing at a moderate, cautious pace.

“However, it is definitely the time of small cities, with 15,000-20,000 inhabitants, to accommodate new shopping centers, as retailers are turning their eyes on them and on potential buyers here“, Moga said.

The  most expected mall deliveries this year are the Colloseum Mall in North-West area of the capital and Fashion House Outlet Cernica, on a 13,000sqm area and comprising almost 60 stores, but also other small-sized projects such as Sepsi Value Centre in Sfantu Gheorghe, a second mall in Craiova and another shopping center in Iasi.

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