Shopping centre visits down almost 30 pct in 3 Qs - Retail Institute

In the period of January 6 to December 9, the visitor count at shopping centres was down by 30.4 percent on a year earlier, the Retail Institute reported. Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

From January to September 30, 2020, Poland's shopping centres recorded a drop in customer visits of 28.9 percent compared with the first nine months of 2019, the Retail Institute has said in a report summarising the third quarter of the year.

The Retail Institute reported that the second and third quarters of 2020 were a period of uncertainty for shopping centres and retail chains marked by great changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Restrictions on trading brought huge consequences and deep losses for retailers.

In the first nine months of the year, 140 shopping centres monitored by the institute recorded a fall in visits of 28.9 percent compared to the same period of 2019 with the falls varying with the size of centres: very small centres of below 5,000 square metres (sqm) noted a year-on-year decrease of 22.3 percent, small centres (5,000 to 19,999 sqm) noted a fall of 26.5 percent year on year while medium-sized centres (20,000 to 39,999 sqm) recorded a 27.5-percent fall y/y and large and very large centres (above 40,000 sqm) recorded a y/y/ decrease of 31.2 percent.

In the period of January 6 to December 9, the visitor count at shopping centres was down by 30.4 percent on a year earlier, the Retail Institute reported.

According to the institute's report, November bore the brunt of decreases in the fourth quarter, with visits down by 50.8 percent on 2019 and experts also predict large scale outflows of customers in January and February 2021 if the government extends shopping mall closures in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus, something tenants, landlords and employers are lobbying strongly to prevent.

In centres monitored by the Retail Institute, the cumulative value of trade fell by 24.3 percent year on year with the average turnover per square metre at the end of September standing at PLN 664.7 (EUR 150.31) against PLN 790.5 (EUR 178.75) in 2019.

Only electronic goods recorded a slight y/y growth in sales during the monitored period (1.2 percent).

The institute said the vacancy rate in Poland's shopping centres stood at 6.4 percent from January to end-September against 2.9 percent a year earlier.