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Happy Sundays after all?

Anna Pakulniewicz 13 March 2018

Anna Pakulniewicz


+48 22 356 25 07

Ania covers the Baltic states’ real estate markets, architecture and urban planning in Warsaw as well as interior design. She is also the co-founder of Eurobuild TV. Among others, she has been employed by TVN CNBC, PAP Insider, WBJ (The Observer), Poland Monthly and IMM. She graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics, majoring in international relations. She has also completed postgraduate studies in macroeconomic analysis. In addition to this, she studied Lithuanian philology

POLAND Sundays for many of Poland’s shoppers are a time for the whole family to browse the various fashion and furniture stores in shopping centres – but without actually spending money in them, treating them as showrooms. The main turnover in Poland’s shops is achieved from Monday to Saturday and therefore the impact on tenants’ turnover might not be as serious as was thought, according to Balmain Asset Management and BSC in a statement on the retail market in Poland.

Visiting shopping centres on Saturdays, however, will become more uncomfortable due to the longer queues and the fewer parking spaces available for customers. Customers will opt instead for smaller centres, such as retail parks, to do their shopping, since trips to the most popular centres will become a more wearying experience.

Fashion chains have considered staying open with a showroom type of operation on Sundays with all the tools available in-store for ordering online but without the actual transaction happening in the store. However, according to the government’s new guidelines, the showroom concept will be treated as an activity directly related to retail and therefore will not be allowed to operate on Sundays under the current legislation.

International food store operators are unconcerned about reduced sales, according to the report. “When we entered the Hungarian market, a Sunday ban was in force. When it was repealed we did not see any positive impact on our turnover,” an anonymous operations director of a global discount retailer told BCS and BAM.

“Our experience in Hungary was that the brand did not experience reduced sales. So we have no plans to extend our hours on other days in Poland,” the chief development officer of a European hypermarket chain also states in the report.

Large retail chains are generally of the opinion that they will still be able to do as much business overall on the other days of the week. Nor do they believe that online shopping will increase massively due to the ban.

Smaller retailers have the greatest concerns regarding the ban, especially restaurants in first generation shopping centres with no designated food court area. Losing customers on Sunday, without the possibility to deliver meals on those days, will have the biggest impact on their performance. BCS and BAM predict that food & beverages will be the main segment affected by the ban, since the custom of these kinds of operators cannot be shifted to other days of the week.

According to the report, some of the lost shopping centre turnover of fashion and media retailers will be made up for by online shopping. Food operators, such as hypermarkets, will be able to spread their sales out over the week as customers will purchase the same amount of food – and, in fact, Sundays are already the worst trading days for food operators.

The difficulty in operating a centre with only a handful of tenants open, especially in terms of the maintenance costs, could require renegotiations with those tenants to cover the shortfall. The ban could also possibly lead to retailers taking the opportunity to demand rent cuts and reduced service charge demands.

Western Polish border cities could lose the German visitors who travel there to avoid the Sunday trading ban that already exists in their own country.

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