Retail SEE Group attended REBEC, a leading conference, exhibition and networking event held at the prestigious Hilton hotel in Belgrade from the 17th to the 19th of June.
Nevena Kostić, Director of Retail SEE Group, joined Joško Piteša, IMMOFINANZ Operations Manager for Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and Bojan Šešević, Asset Manager of the Novaston Platform, for a panel discussion about retail trends in the region.
The main topics of the discussion were retail parks, current supply and future developments, portfolio expansion and investment potential in the South East Europe region.
RETAIL PARK DEVELOPMENTS ON THE RISE
“In 2016 we had 13 retail parks, today we have over 20 and by the end of 2020 we will have over 30. Retail park developments are increasingly expanding in Serbia and are becoming popular retail destinations. We also see throughout the region that retail parks are being developed next to popular shopping centers in capital cities as solutions to expand the retail offer. Arena Park next to Arena Centar in Zagreb has recently opened its doors and BIG Fashion shopping center in Belgrade is working on a retail park project next to it. With the rise of e-commerce throughout the region and with the increasing competition, developers are understanding the importance of continuously expanding their retail offer and including entertainment and gastronomy options to their tenant mix”, stated Nevena Kostic, Retail SEE Group.
A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR INVESTORS
“The rapid construction of retail parks in Serbia is in line with the needs of the modern consumer and reflects the growing purchasing power, which offers great opportunities for investors. Retail park development is focused on secondary cities, where it is much easier and more cost-effective to build new sites and transform them into entertainment and affordable shopping zones. These cities have become a target for investment. This is best illustrated by the fact that shopping centers and retail parks account for 55% and 45% of the total leasing space, respectively,” stated Bojan Šešević, Asset Manager, Novaston.
He stressed the importance of creating the right tenant mix by tailoring the retail park offerings to local preferences.
“Based on Novaston’s project management experience, retail parks are performing well in all locations. Our approach - to adapt the contents in retail parks to local market needs - has proved successful and makes us a partner of choice for the development and management of retail park projects. We have recently finalized our agreement with IKEA Serbia, becoming its long-term partner for IKEA Retail Park in Belgrade. The agreement involves three companies of the Novaston platform: Novaston Asset Management, which was appointed as the exclusive leasing agent, Novaston Project Management, which will provide consulting services related to the design and construction of the retail park, and Novaston Marketing Consultancy.”
IMMOFINANZ THE LEADER IN RETAIL PARK DEVELOPMENT
Joško Piteša, IMMOFINANZ Operations Manager for Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, highlighted that IMMOFINANZ fulfilled their promise to stay and grow in Serbia. The company entered the Serbian market in April 2015 and has since then expanded its retail park portfolio to 9 projects. In the first half of 2018, IMMOFINANZ opened new STOP.SHOP retail parks in Požarevac and Vršac. This year, they took over three retail parks in Subotica, Smederevo and Borča, and will open their 10th STOP.SHOP retail park in Sremska Mitrovica in September.
“We have successfully expanded our chain of retail parks internationally. Today, we can proudly say that IMMOFINANZ’s STOP.SHOP portfolio, including the latest acquisitions, encompasses 80 retail parks in nine countries: Slovakia (16), Hungary (14), Austria (12), Czech Republic (10), Slovenia (9), Serbia (9), Poland (7), Croatia (2) and Romania (1). The regional markets’ dynamics are very positive and we expect to see a further increase in sales in the countries where we operate STOP.SHOP locations over the coming years. STOP.SHOP is a leading retail park brand and we will continue to invest in customer loyalty,” stated Joško Piteša.
The panelists also discussed the future of commercial real estate in the region and shared their thoughts on the role of project management in adding value to retail park projects.
As a company dedicated to the promotion of retail opportunities in the region, Retail SEE Group was pleased to support the REBEC 2019 conference - a professional platform for promoting topics related to the development of investments in the real estate sector.