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40 (135) 2019
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Real Estate & Construction

Retail (r)evolution

By Marta Mikołajczyk-Pyrć, head of retail property management, Property & Asset Management department, Savills Poland
Header 03 marta miko ajczyk pyr  savills low res

 

The role of shopping centres is changing – they are evolving to respond to the changing needs of consumers, lifestyle changes and technological development.

 

Shopping centre operators are increasingly emphasising the social and entertainment functions, providing new attractions and experiences to shoppers. This is one of the most important trends on the Polish retail property market. Almost half of the retail space in Poland was created between 2000 and 2010, and around 17% of these facilities are already over 20 years old. Owners of commercial facilities and brands must keep up with the changing needs, so they are investing in expansion, reconstruction and modernisation.

Savills data indicates that out of the 12.2 sq m of modern retail space in Poland, over 10% was created as a result of these shopping-centre expansions. The Polish retail market is mature and, in some places, even saturated. For this reason, in the coming years we can expect fewer new facilities and more modernisations and expansions. In 2020 the new supply of retail space in Poland is unlikely to exceed 300,000 sq m, around 55,000 sq m of which will be constituted by further expansions.

Customers are more and more willing to visit food and beverage (F&B) facilities, allocating larger budgets to consumption. The changes resulting from the dynamic development of the F&B industry can be demonstrated using the example of shopping centres, which have upgrading their food courts. New F&B concepts are being introduced and the food-hall format is further developed.

The dynamic development of technology also affects the way we buy products. Today all points of contact with a given brand intersect and merge in multi-channel sales, creating an omnichannel strategy. The eobuwie.pl chain of footwear stores is a good example. The company initially operated online only, but eventually entered traditional shopping facilities, where it implemented modern technologies aimed at, among others, reducing the number of returns and shorten delivery times. Customers of eobuwie.pl can, for example, scan their feet and create a 3D model which will help them choose the right size of shoes when shopping online.

The future of the commercial sector will certainly be based on new technologies. The world in which shopping is done by sliding your finger on a screen will soon undergo another revolution, as a result of which products will be ordered with your voice using voice-commerce technology. The latest IT solutions allow for a better understanding of the behaviour and needs of customers with the use of artificial intelligence and data collection, enabling the creation of tailor-made offers.

The social and ecological awareness of customers is also something that is growing all over the world, including Poland. Customers pay increasing attention to the origin of products and their impact on the natural environment. This is having an effect on packaging, which in turn has implications for logistics.

Another visible trend is personalisation, for example in the food and beverage sector. We want to buy tailor-made products – accessories, clothing, but also food. This personalisation can take many forms, such as adapting products to specific diets (e.g. vegan, gluten-free) or enabling customers to compose their own meals.

We anticipate further development of the F&B and entertainment offer in retail schemes as well as implementation of innovative solutions in shopping-centre management to enable efficient functioning of such facilities throughout the week including on Sundays. Changes on the market will also be determined by the transformations taking place in Poland, such as the aging of society, the growing role of customer experience and the merging of online and offline channels.

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