After a number of large-scale malls were delivered to the European market in 2014, Russia has now broken France’s 43-year reign as Europe’s largest shopping centre market according to new research from Cushman & Wakefield.
More than half of all shopping centre space added to the market in the second half of 2014 was in Russia, as its total shopping centre stock climbed to more than 17.7 million sq m, overtaking France’s 17.66 million sq m. The UK follows behind as Europe’s third largest market with 17.1 million sq m.
According to Cushman & Wakefield’s latest European Shopping Centre Development report, total shopping centre floorspace across Europe totalled 152.3 million sq m at 1 January 2015, recording a 3.3 per cent year-on-year increase. While Western Europe currently accounts for 69 per cent of total built space, development activity in Central and Eastern Europe surged ahead, with 2.2 million sq m of space delivered to the market in the second half of 2014, compared to 981,000 sq m in Western Europe over the same period.
Western Europe’s biggest markets have seen an increasing number of extensions and refurbishments as developers seek to ‘future-proof’ small or outdated centres, while CEE is still dominated by the creation of new, dominant regional centres that serve a wide catchment area.
Cushman & Wakefield’s head of EMEA retail, Justin Taylor, said: “With the rise of online sales, the ability for customers to be able to interact with their favourite brands in a well-designed, exciting and culturally-rich environment has never been so important. Throughout Europe, many developers have opted to build increasingly large-scale schemes with significant leisure offerings and an increasing share of food and beverage operators in order to give centres a unique identification.”