PL

Poland Retail still in the doldrums

Retail & leisure
Over the past twelve months, three lockdowns have changed Polish shopping habits and resulted in smaller retail outlets growing in popularity, claims JLL in its latest research.

In 2020, developers constructed 430,000 sqm of retail space in large-scale projects and convenience centres.

Of the new space delivered in 2020, 41pct was in retail parks while 28 pct was in convenience centres. Traditional shopping centres accounted for just 20 pct of the overall space.


The largest retail developments opened in 2020 included Galeria Wiślanka in Żory (20,000 sqm), Dekada in Nysa (19,600 sqm), Galeria Chełm in Chełm (17,500 sqm), and the Elektrownia Powiśle mixed-use project in Warsaw (15,500 sqm of retail space).
Retail operations ceased across 335,000 sqm due to closures by Tesco and Auchan as well as the Sukcesja shopping centre in Łódź, while a number of smaller retail centres were converted to other uses.
Similarly to other countries, retail investment volume was down in Poland with the total coming to around EUR 650 mln at the end of the year. Prime retail park yields remain at 6.8 pct and are expected to compress, due to increased investor demand for this type of product. No shopping centre, of over 20,000 sqm changed hands as the result of a direct purchase. However, a 61.49 pct stake in shopping centre developer GTC was sold by Lonestar in a corporate deal to Optimum Ventures Private Equity Fund from Hungary. In addition, a 50 pct stake in Wrocław Fashion Outlet was sold by Hammerson to APG as part of a European portfolio deal for around EUR 22 mln.

As a result of a second lockdown in November and a third that is currently underway, further rent discounts are now in many cases the subject of ongoing discussions. However, it needs to be borne in mind that government regulations have had an adverse effect on the financial health of shopping centres and their owners, who are not covered by any assistance programme. Lease renewals are currently more flexible, and in some cases, cover a period of 2-3 years instead of the standard five. What allows us to be cautiously optimistic about the gradual recovery of shopping centres and retail brands are the shopping habits of Polish consumers. Although e-commerce has grown in Poland, which is an undeniable fact, Polish people still prefer to shop in a traditional manner.
Anna Wysocka, the head of retail agency at JLL.

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