Retail parks in Romania, twice more resilient than shopping centers during the pandemic, survey says

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Retail parks in Romania proved to be much more resilient during the pandemic than shopping centers, the turnover of the companies that own such properties decreasing by 9.5% during 2020, compared with a decrease of 20.6% in the case of shopping centers, according to an analysis of the Cushman & Wakefield Echinox real estate consulting company which took into account the financial results of over 60 modern retail projects.

The results illustrate an average turnover decrease of 18.5% compared to 2019, the last year without any operating restrictions, from 607 million euros to 495 million euros, therefore the owners of retail projects (shopping centers and retail parks) in Romania had an impact of 112 million euros in their revenues as a result of the sanitary situation.

The stronger impact of the pandemic on shopping centers is explained by the long term shutdown of the non-essential stores with indoor access, as well as cinemas and restaurants, two categories of tenants which usually have a stronger presence in shopping centers.

Preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance shows a turnover decrease of around 35% in the case of restaurant operators, while the total cinema attendance decreased by 75% in 2020, according to the Romanian Film Center. The two segments have therefore been among the most affected ones by the government restrictions which have subsequently impacted the shopping centers’ results.

Vlad Săftoiu, Research Analyst, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox: “Our analysis confirms the market sentiment regarding the performances of modern retail projects, more specifically the retail parks which have managed to significantly reduce the losses caused by the pandemic and also by the restrictions adopted to combat it. Moreover, if we look at the projects currently under construction or in various planning stages, we notice that retail parks will continue to be predominant, this type of development being preferred due to the lower construction costs and due to its type of tenants which are generally less affected by special economic or sanitary situations.”

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