Shopping malls need to boost their leisure propositions, while retailers must enhance their omnichannel strategies, mentioned speakers during the retail panel of SEE Property Forum 2021, Property Forum's annual event in Bucharest.
Carmen Ravon, Omnichannel Real Estate Solutions | Head of Retail at CBRE Romania, who chaired the panel, pointed out that next year Romania will have 80% of new deliveries in retail parks and 20% in shopping centres, mostly extensions. She added that the domestic retail stock currently covers around 4.1 million sqm.
Dr. Angelus Bernreuther, Head of Investor Relationship Management at Kaufland, explained that the company’s strategy will stay in brick-and-mortar stores with an intensified digital interaction with customers.
Rüdiger Dany, COO of NEPI Rockcastle, mentioned that footfall in the company’s shopping malls has fallen compared to pre-COVID period but the turnover of tenant retailers matches the results of 2019 or are even higher. He added that NEPI Rockcastle is working with retailers on omnichannel strategies.
Bucharest-based Colosseum Mall will feature some 2,000 sqm of green spaces and outdoor areas for the food court, said Doinița Ilie MRICS, Leasing Manager at Colosseum Mall. According to Ilie, retail will be a successful combination of offline and online.
A decade ago, 99% of the company’s income was coming from rental income but at present, this figure stabilized at 80% as new options were tapped to generate value and income for real estate, according to Sebastian Mahu, Head of Asset Management at IULIUS Company.
Ecommerce sales in Romania have a share of 10% in total retail, while Poland and the Czech Republic have already 15% and 16% shares, respectively, according to Raluca Radu, Country Manager of Answear Romania. Radu quoted studies that forecast a 15% hike of the e-commerce volumes this year, from last year’s result of €5.6 billion.
The future of retail lies in developing more creative and recreational activities for customers in shopping centres, suggested Roxana Stanciulescu, Head of Retail Leasing at AFI Europe Romania. She added that the then AFI Europe will invest in new food court concepts and explained that mixed-use schemes could better accommodate the new market developments.
Geanina Ungureanu, Senior Leasing and Asset Manager Retail at IMMOFINANZ Romania, said that the company plans to expand its concept of retail parks in the midterm. Ungureanu added that IMMOFINANZ will continue to refurbish its shopping centres in Romania in a bid to upgrade the experience of shoppers.
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