Shopping mall industry in the SEE countries: Slovenia and Croatia stand out

The shopping center industry differs greatly in the South-Eastern European countries and reveals some surprises. It is by no means the market size, the purchasing power or the original political system, which determines the market penetration with synthetic trading areas and especially shopping malls, but rather a certain herd mentality of the project developers and investors.

Slovenia is in terms of the shopping mall density currently the most advanced market. With 0.38 sqm per inhabitant, the country occupies a top position not only in the SEE countries but also in all European countries. The density value is thus also higher than for example in a similar country like Austria, whose inhabitants, however, have a one third higher purchasing power. Croatia is similarly high with 0.33 sqm/inhabitant, yet the purchasing power is still far below that of Slovenia. These extraordinarily high densities are explained by the fact that during the boom years 2006 – 2009 a third of the area was built in these two countries.
In Romania and Bulgaria, on the other hand, the shopping center boom started somewhat later - and was then suddenly interrupted by the economic crisis in 2008. The consequence is a relatively low density, although a look at the current "pipeline" shows that the two countries are once again back to the focus of Western investors.
The herd mentality seems to be a phenomenon that is often observed when it comes to real estate development. Croatia and Slovenia represent another good example. The already particularly high density, which many Western European countries with a much higher purchasing power are not able to reach, is joined by a wide array of especially large-scale projects. When or even whether, these projects will ever be realized in Croatia ( in total 330.000 sqm) and Slovenia (in total 110.000 sqm) , depends much less on public authorities or how it is financed, but more whether the retailers can be convinced about the project - which in the current retail situation is not going to be so easy.
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Shop: Shopping Center Collection
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Download this file (0417_SM_dichte_SEE_EN.png)Download chart: Shopping Mall Density in SEE

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