The trends in retail park development

REBEC konferencija

At a recently held REBEC conference, a special part was dedicated to the retail sector. Speakers at the panel Nevena Kostic, Director of the Retail SEE portal, Josko Pitesa, Operations Manager of Immofinanz for Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, and Bojan Sesevic, Asset Manager of the Novaston Platform, exchanged experiences regarding retail parks, trends in the area of retail and the current situation in this region.

REBEC konferencija“When it comes to retail parks in Serbia, the very idea of their construction has been following the need of a modern consumer society for modernization, as well as the current situation and the purchasing power of citizens. In secondary cities it is easier and more cost-effective constructing retail parks and turning them into the zones of entertainment and affordable shopping. Those towns are becoming investors’ targets more and more, which is confirmed by the fact that the ratio between the total quadrature of a shopping center for rent and retail parks is today 55%: 45%. Our experience on the projects we manage is that retail parks run perfectly in the towns where they exist. Our aim is to shape our offer in all the projects we manage in such a way that it meets the demands of the local market, because the results we have achieved so far are adequate. That is why we are recognized as a proper partner in the development and maintenance of retail parks. Recently we have finalized a business cooperation agreement with IKEA Serbia. We are going to be their long-term partner regarding the retail park they are building next to their facility. The Novaston platform companies will work on the project. Novaston Asset Management will have the exclusive right to issue the space, while Novaston Project Management will perform consulting services related to the design and technical needs of the retail park and the future tenants, and Novaston Marketing Consultancy will be in charge of marketing,” said Bojan Sesevic, asset manager.

REBEC konferencijaOne of the panel speakers was the representative of Austrian company Immofinanz, Josko Pitesa, operations manager for Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. Josko emphasised that by opening STOP SHOP retail parks in Pozarevac and Vrsac in the first half of 2018, taking over three retail parks in Subotica, Smederevo and Borca at the beginning of 2019, and by opening a STOP SHOP retail park in Sremska Mitrovica by the end of August, this company has confirmed the promise given in 2015, when they came to the Serbian market, that they are here to stay.

“We have extended our international retail parks chain. We are proud to say that today, Immofinanz Stop Shop portfolio, including the newest acquisitions, is comprised of 80 retail parks in nine countries: Slovakia (16), Hungary (14), Austria (12), The Czeck Republic (10), Slovenia (9), Serbia (9), Poland (7), Croatia (2), and Romania (1). The market in the region is very positive, and in the coming years we expect a further increase in sales in the countries where STOP SHOP exists. STOP SHOP is a leading brand among retail parks, and we will continue to invest in the loyalty of our customers,” said Pitesa.

Current topics in the field of commercial real estate, retail parks primarily, were also discussed on the panel. The situation on the market, portfolio consolidation, the presence of investors in Serbia and the region were all analyzed, as well as the further potential growth of these projects in Serbia. A special part of the panel was dedicated to real estate management and its role in improving the quality of retail parks and preserving the value of these facilities.

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