This year we have decided to take a closer look at the retail facilities located in two agglomerations, Szczecin and Poznań. Our observations from these regions do not differ significantly from the situation in the rest of the country, with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting all shopping centres without exception.
Touchless dispensers of hand-cleaning fluids, social distancing messages and reminders to cover the mouth and nose are a new reality in shopping centres. Following the initial shock, customers today do not seem surprised by these restrictions, and have adapted and are trying to return to normality. With the loosening of restrictions, you can see that stationary retail continues to be the most popular sales channel with customers. Of course, turnout has not yet returned to that of similar periods in previous years, but it is steadily increasing from month-over-month.
However, it can be seen that the new circumstances have strongly influenced the functioning of retail facilities.
The average vacancy rate in shopping centres in Poznań in August this year was 6.8%, a 1.4% increase compared to data from the end of 2019. The reasons can be connected to, among others, tenants moving out of Galeria Malta, Galeria Dębiec or Kupiec Poznański. The Avenida shopping centre currently operates without a food operator, whereas at Tesco Serbska, Kaufland has reduced the retail space of their grocery store.
Market-wise, an increase has been seen in the vacancy rate in Szczecin, the agglomeration with the lowest commercial space density, currently 3.6%, compared to 1.1% at the end of December 2019. It has been quite a surprise. In this case, however, given the reduced size of the market, a city-wide increase in the rate may be influenced by the exit of as few as one significant tenant from the mall, e.g. due to the withdrawal of the Forever 21 or Camaieu brands from the market.
It is worth noting, however, that despite the problems that some shopping centres undoubtedly face, many positive activities have been observed on the retail market. These include the systematic launch of new shops under the EUROSPAR banner as a result of the rebranding of the Piotr and Pawel delicatessen chain. In the Auchan Swadzim shopping centre, Diverse has decided to double its retail space, and a new Cortland Apple Premium Reseller has been launched in Plaza Poznań. Bafra Kebab have joined the portfolio of tenants at ETC Swarzędz, and at Szczecin Outlet Park, two tenants made their debut simultaneously: Pepco and Levi's. Szczecin’s Rondo Hakena Park has seen advanced adaptation works on new units that include Komfort and Burger King.