“Retail parks are currently experiencing a renaissance. All those qualities that once meant the largest investors would fail to take them seriously have resulted in them not only improving their market position but also becoming one of the fastest developing retail asset classes,” says Wojciech Jurga, the Managing Partner of Scallier responsible for the development of the Funshop Park chain in Romania. “Some of the arguments that speak out in favour of this form of real estate are the proximity of retail parks, their range of goods, which is matched to shoppers’ needs, the way they are built, their lower rental costs compared to larger centres allowing a diversified tenant mix to be built up including local businesses and also their lower maintenance costs. Retail parks also guarantee flexibility. It is easy to adapt them to changing customer preferences as well as to other market conditions. As a result, we cannot complain about a lack of tenants. Our parks are built in the vicinity of large grocery chain stores, which means that we mutually complement each other with what we offer thus guaranteeing crucial footfall,” sums up Wojciech Jurga.
“The retail space market in Romania is unusually polarised. For certain, most new retail space is built in Bucharest as well as in a few other cities, which leaves many large and small towns completely without modern retail space. This creates huge opportunities for us to supply retail formats in this market that meet their needs. Our advantage is that we also know these local markets very well,” says Adrian Aleman, Development Director at Scallier, who before joining Scallier was responsible for the development of a large grocery chain in Romania.
In the Funshop retail park in Focșani, stores are to be opened by well-known international chains, but also by local entrepreneurs. The tenants list of Funshop Park Focsani includes such names as Sinsay, KiK, Pepco, Animax, and Xpress, as well as the Dabo Doner, Hello Donuts and Bun de Tot restaurants. Other service outlets to open are Superbet and Las Vegas Casino. “The wide range of food and restaurants, as well as recreation, make Romanian retail parks stand out from those that operate in Poland. Romanian shoppers expect restaurants and other culinary outlets to accompany traditional retail stores in retail parks. In Polish retail parks, food and restaurants are only just beginning to appear. Nevertheless, we see that this is a direction that the Polish retail sector is also heading in just as we see the increasing significance that retail parks have for local communities,” points out Wojciech Jurga.