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Promising trend in the Polish retail market

Marek Noetzel, Partner and Head of Retail Department, Cushman & Wakefield

Integrated transport centres, including railway and coach or bus stations, have a great retail potential. Such complexes have a large and steady flow of passengers who are also potential customers of shopping centres. This makes it possible to estimate likely footfall levels before retail developments break ground.

Construction of retail schemes at railway stations requires a completely different approach than in the case of typical shopping centres as they have a lower conversion ratio that shows what percentage of the total footfall in stores is actually purchasing. Therefore, it is a great challenge for developers and owners of such retail facilities to increase their conversion ratios. Customers need to be encouraged to buy during their visit.

During the commercialization of shopping centres at railway, coach or bus stations it is necessary to consider passengers’ needs and to create an appropriate tenant mix focusing on synergy opportunities by designing, for example, the ground floor as largely an area of quick impulse shopping (a sandwich, coffee, gift or flowers). Footfall statistics show that such shopping centres attract mainly passengers from Mondays to Thursdays and core customers at weekends. It is also important to provide an appropriately-sized car park.

Development of integrated transport and retail projects such as existing Nowy Rynek in Jelenia Góra and Galeria Katowicka in Katowice is a major logistics and legal challenge. However, they have a big potential that attracts an increasing number of investors and developers, particularly in Poland, which has still few such schemes.

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