At the end of Q2 2017, almost 750,000 sqm of shopping centre space was under construction with planned opening dates estimated for the end of 2019, approximately 47% of which will be completed in July-December 2017. Shopping centres are mainly being bulit in the largest agglomerations (71% of space) and also in the smallest cities, below 100,000 inhabitants (21% of space). The largest projects under construction are currently: Galeria Młociny (73,000 sqm) and Galeria Północna in Warsaw (64,000 sqm), Wroclavia (64,000 sqm), Forum Gdańsk (62,000 sqm) and Serenada in Kraków (42,000 sqm).

“We are still seeing extensions and modernisations of existing schemes in the market, which make up approximately 12% of current space under construction. In the first half of 2017, new phases of expanded shopping centres were completed: Auchan Hetmańska in Białystok, Outlet Park Szczecin and Auchan Gdańsk and the schemes such as Warsaw’s Arkadia, Forum Gliwice and IKEA Port Łódź were renovated,” said Katarzyna Michnikowska, Associate Director, Research and Consultancy, Colliers International.

New brands in Poland

In H1 2017, several new retail chains had their debuts in Poland, including Trespass (first regular store in Blue City in Warsaw), Freya (Stary Browar in Poznań), befree (Posnania) and Maxi-Cosi (Galeria Katowice). Some retail chain debuts were announced for 2017 in the Polish market. New brands will open their stores in Warsaw in Galeria Północna (Hamleys, Love Republic, Zarina, Newbie, 4Faces), Arkadia (Nissa, Victoria‘s Secret), Złote Tarasy and also in Galeria Mokotów.

Also Polish retail chains are successfully expanding in CEE countries, with Reserved in Mińsk, Belarus and Sizeer in Riga, Latvia opening their first stores.

Active tenants

Lease transactions worth mentioning include: P&C (4,000 sqm) in Wroclavia, Van Graaf (3,250 sqm) in Forum Gdańsk, Zara (3,500 sqm) and Forever21 (1,000 sqm) in Kraków’s Serenada, Intermarche (2,610 sqm) in Galeria Młociny in Warsaw, TK Maxx (2,400 sqm) in Atrium Biała in Białystok and Jysk (1,100 sqm) in Vivo! Krosno.

More units once leased by Alma have found tenants, for example Biedronka in Tarasy Zamkowe in Lublin (1,600 sqm) and in Galeria Jurajska in Częstochowa (1,320 sqm), Carrefour in Focus Zielona Góra (1,480 sqm) and in Kraków’s Galeria Kazimierz (2,900 sqm).

Polish retail chains remain attractive investment products in the market. In the first quarter of this year CVC Capital Partners has bought Żabka Polska (approximately 4 500 grocery stores in Poland) from Mid Europa Partners.

Space to lease

At the end of June 2017, the average vacancy rate in shopping centres for the eighteen biggest Polish cities was 4.1% and was 0.6 p.p. higher than in December 2016. The largest amount of available space is in Katowice (5.9%) and the lowest in Warsaw (2.6%). Among large cities (150,000-400,000 inhabitants), the most vacant retail space is noted in Radom (10.9%) and the least in Bielsko-Biała (1.3%).