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Outlet centre sector evolves

Eurobuild CEE 18 May 2017
POLAND Eight out of ten people visiting Polish outlet centres buy goods spending on average over PLN 240 with each visit.

Outlet centres in Poland differ from those in Western Europe and are very popular among consumers with products tailored to local markets. According to the “Bargain hunting. The potential of outlet centres in Poland” report by Colliers International and IQS, such centres need to develop other services to continue growing. The most frequently visited stores in such centres are fashion brands and are visited by 90 pct of the customers of such centres. For the majority of consumers (70 pct of respondents) outlet centres are a place for making planned purchases. However, a number of consumers, particularly from smaller towns, do their shopping spontaneously. Stores in outlet centres see the highest footfall with the highest turnover during weekends, while weekday sales account for only 20 pct of the whole. The report concludes that the proposed ban on Sunday trading would be a significant blow for the sector. “I have been analysing Polish consumers’ attitudes towards outlet centres for a few years. The first outlet centres in Poland were opened in an atmosphere of enthusiasm, intertwined with curiosity and mistrust. The majority of Polish consumers are currently aware of how these centres work and what to expect from them, which is reflected by the survey conducted by our company and Colliers International”, says Agnieszka Kowalewska, a shopping centre research manager at IQS. Due to the lack of a “critical mass” in trade and lower purchasing power than in the West outlet centres are set to remain different to those in Western Europe with a lack of premium brands in the Polish market. Nonetheless, Polish outlet centres draw on European experience to foster a culture of “bargain-hunting”. The authors of the report estimate that there are around 60-80 retail chains operating in the Polish market have enough stores with excess stock that could be managed through sales in outlet centres throughout the country. “Outlet centres are waiting to be extended with other services that will attract consumers. Depending on the location and the specifics of the market, these will be provided by large-format stores, cinemas or other services. As well as extensions, there will be new technologies introduced to improve the comfort of shopping”, says Katarzyna Michnikowska, from the research and consultancy services department at Colliers International. At present, there are 14 outlet centres in Poland, with a total leasable area of about 250,000 sqm. These are small and medium-sized centres (10,000 - 25,000 sqm gla), usually developed in a number of stages. They currently have over 380 tenants operating about 1,150 stores, and outlets. Each outlet centre offers on average 90‑100 units, and the average area of a store is 150-200 sqm. The largest group of tenants comes from the fashion sector with 55 companies followed by cafés and restaurants with 45 firms. Polish outlet centres are generally located on the outskirts of large cities. Recent years have also seen investments in provincial towns and cities such as Białystok (Outlet Center Białystok, Outlet Białystok), Bydgoszcz (Outlet Center Bydgoszcz, Metropolitan Outlet) and Lublin (Outlet Center Lublin). In addition one mall in Rzeszów is to reposition itself to become an outlet centre (Outlet Graffica). The average lease length in such a centre is 3-10 years. The average rent for a 100‑250 sqm unit stands between EUR 7-27 sqm/month. The survey was conducted in February and March 2017 on a sample of outlet customers aged 18 and over.


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