Higher disposable income across CEE markets are outpacing those in more mature Western European economies, with existing retail spaces trying to keep up with growing demand, according to a NEPI Rockcastle report.
NEPI Rockcastle, which is Europe’s third-largest listed retail real estate company by portfolio size, said it is recording higher turnover and margins for tenants across its 60 shopping centres. Moreover, there are new brands entering the region, while existing ones are expanding their footprint.
“The multitude of international and regional retailers opening and expanding across our retail portfolio is indicative of how compelling the CEE markets are right now compared to the more mature and saturated Western European retail markets. In 2024, average GDP growth across the CEE is forecast to be double that of Western Europe, operating costs have stabilised, and household income and consumer spend are holding up well. These factors present our retailers and other tenants with outstanding opportunities to grow their presence across the region,” Marek Noetzel, NEPI Rockcastle’s COO, commented at the MAPIC retail trade fair in Cannes.
In the first three quarters of 2023, notable new lettings included the world’s largest fashion retailer Inditex, which recently chose Promenada Craiova in central southern Romania, for the opening of a 4,200 sqm Lefties store. This is its first location for the brand in CEE. In addition, more than 40 international brands chose NEPI Rockcastle’s new mall as the destination for their expansion in the region.
Some of the significant regional brands that expanded include Reserved, Half Price, Sinsy and 4F. Meanwhile, Zara and JD Sports were some of the existing international brands that are growing in the region.
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