European retail parks have experienced a significant transformation in the breadth of tenant mix and quality of design. This report identifies trends and challenges in the European retail parks market, with a focus on development.
In recent years, European retail parks have experienced a significant transformation with regard to the breadth of tenant mix and quality of design. This asset class has become a preferred destination not only for fashion retailers but also restaurants, coffee shops and sports and leisure operators, all of which traditionally used to occupy the high street.
Physical retail is very much alive - but it is undergoing a significant evolution because of the growth in online shopping and the out-of-town market is not immune. However, the retail warehouse market has so far proved resilient, with affordability, flexibility, convenience and accessibility the main attractions for new retail park occupiers and shoppers.
995,000 sq m of new retail park space was completed in Europe last year, down 15% on 2017. A stable development trend is expected going forward, with 1.4 million sq m of new retail park space scheduled for opening in 2019/2020. As the retail park market moves towards maturity, development trends vary across Europe. In Western Europe, development remains focused on large cities with strong catchment areas and high pedestrian flows. In Central and Eastern Europe, development is turning to smaller schemes in smaller cities and suburban areas, in addition to secondary and tertiary locations. This provides an opportunity for small-to-medium sized retail parks with easy access, affordable rents and good quality tenant mix.
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