PL

POLAND Poles embracing convenience

Retail & leisure
The volume of internet sales in Poland has now almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, while at the same time Polish consumers have become more willing to shop in convenience centres in smaller retail formats, according to JLL.

Between the beginning of the year to the end of September, the supply of retail space in Poland increased by 248,000 sqm – 30 pct of which was accounted for by convenience centres. As a result of the pandemic, retail development activity has slowed and the habits and needs of Polish consumers have changed, according to JLL’s summary of the Polish retail market at the end of Q3 2020.

The local and convenience trend, which was present before Covid-19, has been boosted by the pandemic, and is reflected in the new retail supply. Of the 54,000 sqm of new retail space delivered in Q3, 53 pct was located in seven convenience centres and another 27 pct in retail parks. In addition, these formats are also becoming increasingly attractive to investors.
Joanna Tomczyk, a senior tesearch analyst at JLL

Mixed-use projects have continued to strengthen their position on the Polish market. The third quarter saw the opening of The Warsaw Hub, in which 4,800 sqm of the total area of over 110,000 sqm is retail space. However, five hypermarket-driven shopping centres have closed (four Auchan centres and one Tesco). The shopping centre stock has also shrunk due to a number of projects no longer meet shopping centre criteria (e.g. Galeria Kamienna in Starachowice and Galeria Plaza in Kraków) or that have converted some retail space for different functions (e.g. Renoma in Wrocław and Plac Unii City Shopping in Warsaw).

Undoubtedly, the near future, as in the case of other segments of the commercial real estate sector, will be marked by flexibility. On the one hand, we can expect downward pressure on prime rents, and on the other, tenants’ expectations towards agreements which, in their opinion, should respond better to the changing needs and business conditions, as well as offer a number of incentives, such as flexible lease agreements or longer rent-free periods. It should be underlined, however, that in this difficult period for all participants of the industry, it is necessary to cooperate and jointly develop models acceptable to all parties.
Anna Wysocka, the head of the retail agency at JLL

Four international brands entered the Polish retail market in Q3 2020: Primark in Galeria Młociny in Warsaw, Courir (which has returned to Poland after a short absence) in Galeria Krakowska in Kraków, Falconeri in Galeria Mokotów in Warsaw, and Russian ‘hard discount’ brand Mere in Częstochowa. The combination of discount stores with cash & carry wholesale is likewise being developed by Carrefour’s Supeco brand, the expansion of which has been accelerated this year.

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