Retail parks with higher visitation in pandemic

Park handlowy w Siedlcach

Wpis dostępny jest także w języku: polski

Since the beginning of the pandemic, retail parks have recorded higher footfall than large centres, on average by several percentage points. At some points last year, the total number of customers in retail parks was even higher than before the pandemic – according to CBRE data. CBRE experts point out that this is a result of, among other things, the tenant structure of retail parks, which is tailored to the current needs of customers and is crucial in terms of operating during the austerity.

Retail parks are oriented towards the customer who visits them regularly and needs to buy all the most necessary things in one place, without circulating between aisles. Unlike large centres, they save time when searching for products and shorten the distance between the parking space and the entrance to the shop. At the same time, in contrast to online shopping, retail parks provide the comfort of receiving the necessary products “in hand”. The lack of common areas, well-ventilated shops accessible directly from the outside, the compactness of the facility and the high turnover in the car park increase the sense of security among customers in a pandemic. These advantages perfectly fit the needs of the present times – says Piotr Karpiński, head of the property management department at CBRE.

Retail parks are oriented towards customers who live nearby and shop there frequently, which is why grocery shops, drugstores and discount multibranch shops, among others, dominate among the tenants. Other tenants, most often found in retail parks, offer products from the electronics, fashion, footwear and sports sectors, as well as toys and children’s goods. A pharmacy or pet shop also appear frequently.

More profitable parks

In addition to being better suited to the needs of customers in pandemic, retail parks stand out for their relatively low rents and service charges, which are due to the simple design of the building and the absence or minimal share of common areas. Average rents for most locations and shopping categories range from approximately €8 to €12 per m² per month. Rates can be higher for locations in large cities. It is forecast that rents in retail parks will remain stable in the near future.

From the point of view of both tenants and investors, retail parks have proved more resilient to the negative effects of the pandemic than shopping centres. In contrast to large facilities, they have not suffered from an increase in vacancy. On the contrary, despite the halting of expansion plans in some industries, an upward trend has been observed among shopping categories popular in retail parks, such as food operators and discounters. At the same time, it should be remembered that each of the formats mentioned above has different functions and certainly smaller facilities are not able to take over the role of large shopping malls, which not only have a much larger offer, but also provide the opportunity to spend time in a more interesting way –  concludes Piotr Karpiński.

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