The development of the market complex sector can be divided into two key vectors:
  • Renovation of Soviet-era markets into modern farming produce complexes in line with Western models 
  • Development of chain fair-type projects in shopping centres as an addition to the classic grocery “anchor” (supermarket or hypermarket) or an alternative to it

Colliers forecasts that the re-conceptualisation of Soviet-era markets will continue, with progressively more compact market formats opening in shopping centres, forming a separate niche of tenants in the retail real estate sector.

In the last three years, investors and professional retail real estate market participants have been increasingly acquiring market complexes for renovation and subsequent management. Among the most significant deals: in 2014, a St. Petersburg company bought the Northern and Koptevsky markets; in 2015, subsidiaries of the Ginza Project restaurant holding company bought the Danilovsky market; in 2016, Property Investment bought the Kuntsevsky market; and in 2017, subsidiaries of Kievskaya Ploschad purchased the Velozavodsky market.

The most striking examples of successful renovation are the Danilovsky market (renovated in 2013-2017), Usachevsky market (2016), and Moskvoretsky market (2015). In the near future, the number of markets based on modern European models will increase. Accordingly, planned renovations envisage that the Dorogomilovsky market will almost double in size. Meanwhile, the Cheryomushkinsky market is negotiating its curatorship with LavkaLavka, the Velozavodsky market's complex of buildings is set to be transformed into a single modern farming produce cluster, and the Bagrationovsky market is set to open on the site of the indoor market near the Gorbushkin Dvor shopping centre.

In addition to renovation, the number of farming produce market chain projects is set to increase in the near future. Accordingly, the Veterok chain already has three markets in Moscow; in 2015, the Pyatyorochka chain's founder announced the launch of the Tsarev Sad chain of markets, and the owner of EcoBazar markets plans to open ten locations in the next five years.

High-quality farmers' market projects in shopping centres are still few and far between, but in recent years, Colliers has noted the emergence of both chain concepts, in particular LavkaLavka, and stand-alone projects, such as the food market in the Tsvetnoy department store. Such concepts are generally combined with food service areas. Among new shopping-centre market projects, the announced launch of the Gastromarket farmer's market chain is notable. The first two of these will open in the Pyataya Avenue shopping centre (with an area of 3,900 m2) and in the Golden Babylon Rostokino mall.

Another notable new trend in shopping centres is combining supermarkets and markets – in these, shelf displays are adjacent to sales counters, and fresh produce products comprise a significant part of the range. For example, Eataly is part of the Kievsky shopping complex, the new store AV Market is in the Riga Mall, as well as the Carousel hypermarket on Novorizhskoye Shosse, which also has aspects of agricultural produce fair presentation on the sales floor.

The lease rates in shopping centres for market operators are comparable to those paid by  supermarkets. Accommodation in shopping centres is advantageous for such projects, since they are located on sites with established foot traffic, while the shopping centre gains an “unconventional” tenant, which advantageously complements the mall's product range and generates additional leasing revenue from its common areas.

Anna Nikandrova, partner, Colliers International Russia: “Markets that had been qualitatively re-conceptualised gradually cease to be local shopping sites orientated to the nearest residents and become a hub for visitors and buyers from all over the city due to the variety of the product range and unique food service concepts, and they also act as venues for numerous events. In addition, we are witnessing the development of synergistic concepts with market sales alongside chain retail sales. Examples  of the wholesale and retail sales centres are Bukhta on Dmitrovskoye Shosse and Food City on Kaluzhskoye Shosse, as well as market-type shopping complexes such as Yuzhniye Vorota, Slavyansky Mir, Sadovod, and Luzhaika, which gradually absorbed many tenants from the Luzhniki clothing market.”