Number of retail parks in Poland doubles over decade - report

Number of retail parks in Poland doubles over decade - report Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

The number of retail parks in Poland has grown two-fold over the last ten years, according to the report 'Retail parks and convenience centres in Poland' by real estate consultancy JLL and Trei Real Estate Poland.

In the report's assessment, the first half of 2020 confirms the good condition of the sector with 148,000 square metres (sqm) of modern retail space entering the market.

"Retail parks are the biggest beneficiaries of structural changes in the last 10 years," the report states. "Their number has grown two-fold and their share of the entire supply of retail space in Poland has grown by 4 percentage points."

In the opinion of experts, the first half-year of 2020 confirms the trend as the market grew by, "almost 148,000 sqm of modern retail space in large format buildings (Gross Leasable Area >5,000 sqm) of which 67 percent occurred in eight new retail parks and three extended existing premises."

The report added that almost 450,000 sqm of leasable space is still under development with a delivery date in 2020 or 2021. Retail parks account for almost 26 percent of that supply.

Convenience centres have emerged as a market response to the changing needs of customers in the area of quick, daily purchases, and the growing saturation of space in shopping centres, JLL's Anna Wysocka was quoted in the report as explaining. "This trend was even more strengthened by the global pandemic," she said. "Consumers shut indoors started to again appreciate localness." Some discovered anew their local neighbourhood and started "to appreciate more small, family companies and local products."

According to the report, convenience centres dominate in small towns. "This type of commercial real estate accounts for 63 percent of supply in markets having fewer than 50,000 inhabitants," explained Joanna Tomczyk of JLL. Regional parks, however, are the domain of large agglomerations. "Traditionally, retail parks are found in all size classes of towns, however the greatest supply occurs in the smallest towns (50 percent) and in next place in the main agglomerations - almost 20 percent," she said.

Currently, "around 171,000 sqm of retail parks and convenience centres remains under development," which means that they account for 34 percent of all supply in the pipeline. "In terms of the number of projects, 18 out of 33 buildings currently under construction are small convenience centres. In the case of regional parks, we can talk about two buildings of that type being built," the report reads.

The report also states that as much as 40 percent of new buildings are in small towns of fewer than 50,000 inhabitants.