At the end of June, Romania’s modern retail stock amounts 3.38 million sq. m. Most of the retail stock is represented by shopping malls – 57%, followed by retail parks – 35% and commercial galleries – 8%. Three shopping centres were completed in H1 2016, having a total GLA of 69,000 sq. m: Shopping City Timisoara – phase II, Mercur Craiova and Satu Mare Shopping Plaza. Additionally, Coresi Shopping Resort in Brasov was extended with a GLA of 14,000 sq. m.
The modern retail space density per 1,000 inhabitants in Romania is 164 sq. m. Bucharest, with a retail stock of 1.12 million sq. m, currently has 595 sq. m of modern retail space per 1,000 inhabitants.
The VAT cut from 24% to 20% has had a positive impact on retail sales which reached 16.8% y-o-y growth in H1 2016. This performance was boosted mainly by food sales, which overall have increased by 23.5% y-o-y. Non-food sales recorded an increase of 15.1% y-o-y. Compared with the average for EU 28, Romania’s retail sales growth was six times higher.
Most of the food retailers have enlarged their networks. Profi continued to be the most active, with 44 supermarkets and proximity stores opened. On the hypermarket segment, only Kaufland expanded its local network by opening two stores in Bucharest. On the Cash & Carry segment, after four years with no openings being recorded, in H1 2016 Selgros announced a new store in Targu Mures with a sales area of 4,000 sq. m.
Carrefour concluded the acquisition of Billa supermarkets, transaction that increased the local network of the French retailer with 86 supermarkets. At the end of H1 2016 Carrefour is present in Romania with more than 270 stores of different types (hypermarkets, supermarkets and proximity stores).
Fashion retailers’ expansion strategies have been aimed mostly towards new projects. Throughout H1 2016 H&M has been the most active by opening 5 stores. Inditex, the largest fashion retailer in Romania has added 4 units to its local network reaching at the end of June 112 stores. Among active fashion retailers were also New Yorker, C&A, LC Waikiki, LPP, Kenvelo and Koton.
New brands entered Romania throughout H1 2016, Bucharest remaining the core destination for opening a store.