Bucharest metro traffic doubled in March after the pandemic related restrictions were lifted; employees are gradually returning to the office
Key openings included the 100,000 sq.m Riviera scheme in Moscow, the 92,000 sq.m Arese shopping centre in Milan and the 69,000 sq.m Avion Söderslätts Handelsområde in Umeå, Sweden. Development activity is forecast to accelerate in H2 2016 and in 2017, with 8.1 million sq.m currently under construction and expected to be completed in this period.
Property owners are working harder than ever before at understanding changing consumer shopping trends and the needs of modern retailing. They are also responding to the evolving role of shopping centres in communities and this is being reflected in the planning of development projects throughout Europe. Both new construction and re-development projects at the larger end of the scale, as well as mixed use schemes, are seeing food & beverage (F&B) operators and leisure facilities featuring highly, as landlords look to raise footfall, extend dwell time and increase turnover. Incorporating new technologies is also becoming an increasingly important factor in the development of any successful scheme.
London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Munich, Ankara, Istanbul, Sofia and Bucharest are among the top locations in terms of future shopping centre development potential. This is due to a combination of strong macroeconomic fundamentals and low market saturation. In some Western European markets, there is a preference for high streets over shopping centres, which could limit future development potential, while in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), regional geopolitical uncertainty remains the biggest downside risk.