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Between a ban and online sales

Eurobuild CEE 20 December 2018
Between a ban and online sales
No one was in favour of the Sunday trade ban in its present form
POLAND Topics including the Sunday trading ban, online and multi-channel sales and the current health of the retail market were all discussed by the ‘From trade temples to leisure hubs’ panel which was held as part of the 24th Annual Property Market Convention in Poland organised by Eurobuild Conferences.

Everyone agreed that the Sunday trading ban introduced in March 2018 has hurt retail trade in Poland: “We do not oppose retail employees having two Sundays off but such changes should be based on the labour code and not a poorly drafted act that harms the market,” stated Renata Juszkiewicz, the president of the Polish Organisation of Trade and Distribution. She went on to note that frustration was growing among shoppers over the closing of stores on Sunday, which was sure to deepen with the coming Christmas season. Everyone burst into applause when she finished talking. Because of the hot summer weather it has been difficult to assess how the retail trade ban every two Sundays each month has affected the sector. Shopping centre owners have seen lower footfall compared to the previous year, but more time is required including a winter season to make a proper assessment.
Retail chains are now making use of online sales much more and they have more opportunities of doing so than shopping centres. This can cause friction between tenants and landlords because many rents are based on a store’s turnover.
Marek Janeczko, the COO of Smyk, pointed out that the many customers who purchase goods over the Internet choose shopping centres as their pick-up point. “This should also be of benefit to shopping centre owners. Someone who comes to collect a parcel is a potential customer for the other stores in the building,” he pointed out.
Anna Malcharek, the managing director of Gemini Holding, said that the Gemini Park malls are working hard to adapt to the challenges of the market. “I’m obsessed with the idea of creating a digital shopping centre similar to those in the West. We are looking at how we can build up our omnichannel presence” she concluded. Aleksander Walczak, the CEO of the Dekada chain, appeared unworried by the future of his buildings pointing out that both online and real world sales could be developed in parallel in a complementary was so as to not harm one another – was completely calm about the future of the buildings. He stated that both channels can develop in parallel without harming each other. “Because of technology, needs can be analysed more precisely, the consumer can be better understood, and product ranges can be tailored to the specific demand with a quicker response to change. We see this in Dekada’s centres with grocery stores taking up less space than they did a few years ago, with an increase in the number of goods on the shelf and with changes in supply management,” he said. The discussion was moderated by Marta Machus-Burek, the retail director at Colliers International.

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