Shopping centres in Romania have reopened on June 15. In total, investments in all equipment, supplies and staff needed to ensure compliance with the safety and social distancing measures that are still needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. exceed €500,000 for large shopping centres, according to Colliers International consultants. Shoppers will gradually resume their pre-pandemic habits and traffic in the malls could return to normal during the Christmas season.
Neinver, an investor, developer and operator in the European outlet centre industry and the largest operator in Spain and Poland, is certifying the COVID-19 hygiene and safety protocols and procedures implemented in the 20 centres it manages in five European countries. Neinver has reached an agreement with SGS, the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, to validate its safety protocols against the spread of COVID-19 in the centres it operates in Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland.
According to a study conducted by research body Inquiry for the Polish Council of Shopping Centres (PRCH), 51% of those surveyed visited shopping centres in the first week after they reopened following the easing of the lockdown measures. Out of these, 64% visited shopping centres to make specific purchases, while 31% went to browse the stores or to seek out promotions.
Developer NEPI Rockcastle completed the construction of the 39,800 sqm Shopping City Targu Mures project in Romania in Q1 2020. The opening was, however, rescheduled from the end of March to Q3 2020. The company is not launching new constructions until there is further clarity on the impact of COVID-19 on its operations.
With the easing of the strict governmental regulations in Budapest, NEPI Rockcastle Group, the owner of Arena Mall and Mammut Shopping and Entertainment Center is starting to get back to its usual operation. The company has introduced further safety measures in their Budapest shopping centres.
SES Spar European Shopping Centers has opened Aleja Center in Ljubljana on 20 May 2020. The €150 million investment serves as a mixed-use shopping and leisure hotspot. The centre was completed in March, but, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the originally planned opening date had to be postponed. The first shops with focus on local supply opened at the beginning of May, and the entire centre is set into full operation on 20 May. The Planet Lollipop children's adventure world and part of Aleja SKY are scheduled to open at a later date.
Atrium European Real Estate published an update on trading for the three months ended 31 March 2020 and an update on trading in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A progressive reopening has been launched from 4 May in Poland and is planned from 11 May in the Czech Republic and 3 June Slovakia, although it is too early to say when the company’s assets will return to full operation.
In Q1 2020, approximately 50,000 sqm of modern retail space was delivered to the market in Poland. The construction of four schemes was completed: Galeria Chełm (17,500 sqm), Stop Shop Siedlce (14,100 sqm), Galeria Kupiecka in Otwock (10,000 sqm) and Vendo Park Jawor (6,700 sqm). However, due to the onset of the coronavirus epidemic, the new shopping centres have limited possibilities to serve consumers, in the same as all large retails facilities in Poland.
AFI Europe Romania announces the rescheduling of the opening date for AFI Brasov, the largest shopping centre project to be delivered in Romania in 2020. Initially planned for the spring of this year, the opening date is now scheduled for the autumn of 2020, should the overall social conditions allow it.
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