Shopping Malls in Germany: The East is densely packed

In the period of euphoria immediately after 1990, shopping center area in former East German federal states developed in lightning speed – starting from nearly zero, East Germany’s shopping center area eclipsed that of nearly all federal states in the West in only a decade (sole exception: Hamburg) .
Shopping center concentration continued to grow in the East between 2000 and 2005 – despite significantly lower purchasing power levels and a declining population – until market saturation was clear. As a result, relative growth rates declined rapidly in this period, falling below those observed in the West. For project developers, Germany’s wealthier western federal states have once again come into the spotlight: most projects are currently planned in the many medium and small cities in the Germany’s southern and western regions.
Berlin currently has the highest degree of shopping center density, and above-average growth rates during the past few years have increased the gap to Hamburg, the runner-up. As before, the top of the list is rounded out by the remaining eastern federal states, but the gap to the western states has narrowed. The highest relative growth rates have been registered in Bremen and Baden- Württemberg, and the former is now ahead of even Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia.

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