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Creativity and symbiosis on the retail market

Tomasz Szpyt-Grzegórski 10 December 2019

Tomasz Szpyt-Grzegórski

Deputy editor in chief, journalist

+48 22 356 25 21

Tomek is a journalist and editor with many years of experience. He has been covering the real estate market since 2006. His main fields of interest are the investment and office markets as well as urban development. He also edits the magazine’s Facebook and twitter pages (@TomaszSzpyt). His articles have appeared, among others, in Dziennik, DGP, GazetaPrawna.pl, Forsal.pl, Dziennik.pl, Newsweek.pl, WSJ Poland and The City. In his free time he likes reading, cinema and rollerblading

Creativity and symbiosis on the retail market
Jacek Nowakowski (Trei), Lucyna Śliż (C&W) and Karol Bartos (Atrium) at the Sparring session

POLAND Shopping centre owners in Poland are coping increasingly better with the effects of the Sunday retail ban by enhancing their entertainment and food & beverages ranges.

The lives of traditional retailers' have not been made any easier by the growing competition from the e-commerce segment, but the way to handle this would appear to be through symbiosis and combining classic forms of retail with online channels. These and many other issues were raised by those taking part in the Sparring session during the 25th Annual Property Market Convention held by Eurobuild Conferences at the Bristol Hotel in Warsaw.

The openings of large regional shopping centres in the country can be counted on one hand, whereas smaller retail parks are popping up like mushrooms. Is this the end of retail as we know it? How is the Sunday ban impacting the sector? And finally, what’s the best way to cope with the constant changes in the environment and customer requirements? This is what the two combatants in the Sparring were asked by moderator Lucyna Śliż, an associate and the head of retail business development at Cushman & Wakefield.

According to Karol Bartos, the head of the asset management department at Atrium European Real Estate, it will be retail that reinvents itself that succeeds in the future: “The chains and centres that have new ideas for sales and changing customer requirements will survive. But the trading ban has not been having such a big impact on the sector as is commonly believed,” he argued.

To this, Jacek Wesołowski, the managing director of Trei Real Estate Poland, retorted: “Retail chains are having to come up with new ideas for themselves, but the real turnover is on the internet. The question is, how can property owners make a profit out of it? It should be stressed that it’s brick-and-mortar trade that’s driving the online version. The latter is not profitable enough for chains to survive on it alone.”

He also argued that the format of retail parks works well even in very small towns: “We are building projects in towns of dozens of thousands of people, but a profitable retail park in one of only 10,000 inhabitants is feasible. Such a centre can also act as a pick-up point for internet purchases,” he added.

“Something has to serve as the last mile – and retail parks and large shopping centres are perfect for this,” agreed Karol Bartos. In his opinion, the format of the shopping centre is still evolving. It is now turning into a lifestyle centre that combines various functions under one roof. “The model in which shopping centre owners and tenants work together must also change,” emphasised the representative of Atrium.

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