Warsaw a magnet for luxury

Retail & leisure
EUROPE Warsaw is an excellent place for luxury brands to expand. The case for doing so is even more compelling considering the fact that an increasing supply of good quality commercial space is being developed on high streets. Such were the conclusions reached at the ‘Warsaw: New development Direction for Luxury Brands in Poland’ conference, which took place on November 25th at the Polish Embassy in Paris.

The meeting was organised by Kulczyk Silverstein Properties and the Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in France. “We want to start a discussion on the attractiveness of Warsaw for top shelf brands and show that it can offer friendly and modern space for meetings and shopping to tenants and customers alike,” said Maciej Zajdel, a board member of Kulczyk Silverstein Properties, which is the owner of the Ethos building that is currently being redeveloped on pl. Trzech Krzyży.

Richer bythe day

The attractiveness of Poland, and its capital in particular, is supported by the data on the affluence growth of the Polish population. During the meeting, legal advisor Przemysław Rosiak and D. Dobkowski, a partner associate of KPMG, outlined the conclusions of the fifth ‘Luxury goods market in Poland. Polish Premium and Luxury Brands’ report, which was prepared by KPMG. According to the report, in 2015 the value of luxury goods in Poland was estimated at PLN 14.3 bln, which represents a growth of 13 pct on the previous year. According to KPMG’s estimates, by 2018 the value of luxury goods in Poland is to increase by 17 pct, reaching almost PLN 17 bln. In 2015, the number of Polish residents with incomes of more than PLN 7,100 per month was estimated at 969,000 and in 2016 the figure is set to exceed 1 mln for the first time. The total income of affluent people currently amounts to PLN 155 bln – a 5 pct increase on the previous year. According to KPMG’s analysis, this figure will have grown to PLN 209 bln by 2018. The premium and luxury brands listed by the authors of the report include Apart, W. Kruk, La Mania, Kler, Wittchen, Yes, Dr Irena Eris, Emanuel Berg, Galeon, Kazar, Ochnik and Wyborowa.

Capital delights

Warsaw deputy mayor Michał Olszewski was another who made the case for the Polish capital as an attractive location for luxury brands. He pointed to the revitalisation of the city centre and the development of the main high streets, including Krakowskie Przedmieście, ul. Nowy Świat, ul. Mokotowska, ul. Chmielna and pl. Trzech Krzyży. He also emphasised the most important projects that are adding high quality retail space to the Warsaw market, such as Ethos, Sezam on Marszałkowska and the Raffles hotel, which is being developed in the modernisation of the former Hotel Europejski on Krakowskie Przedmieście. Following this, Fabrice Paumelle, the head of retail in Poland and the CEE region at BNP Paribas Real Estate, detailed the conditions that need to be fulfilled for luxury brands to enter the Polish market. He emphasised that luxury brands choose places where tourism is developing and new high class hotels are being opened. In Warsaw there are currently twelve five-star hotels, with another three under preparation or construction: Hotel Warszawa on ul. Świętokrzyska, a hotel on ul. Miodowa and the above-mentioned Raffles on Krakowskie Przedmieście. The construction of modern commercial space in projects such as Ethos is also a response to the development of the capital city. “We want to change the image of the Polish high street. Pl. Trzech Krzyży has great potential. Our activities are aimed at delivering space that will integrate well with its surroundings, will attract people and meet the expectations of the most demanding tenants at the same time. The building should showcase this offer perfectly, thanks to its 8m high shop windows. It will offer retail units with areas ranging from 100 sqm to 1,000 sqm on the ground floor and the mezzanine,” explained Maciej Zajdel. Those present included representatives of Polish and French shopping centres as well as retail organisations and consultancies. “The meeting was attended by a total of 120 people, including app. 70 representatives of luxury and premium brands from various sectors, such as Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), Chanel, Christian Dior Couture and Hermes International,” added Maciej Zajdel.