Bucharest is the capital of Romania and the largest city in the country and CEE region, having an official population of 1.9 million inhabitants and around 2.3 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Since the average net salary in Bucharest is 35% higher than the national average, the city accounts for around 25% of the retail expenditure recorded in Romania.
Retail activity is mostly concentrated in shopping centres and retail parks, while the importance of high street retail is mainly limited to convenience activities and services. While the first modern shopping centre opened in 1999, it was not until 2003-2004 that retail development really took off. Today the city has a modern shopping centre (excluding retail parks and shopping galleries) density of 380 sq. m per 1,000 inhabitants, which is still behind other capitals in the region.
The key areas for retail in Bucharest include the dominant shopping centres Baneasa Shopping City, AFI Palace Cotroceni, Sun Plaza and Mega Mall, along with the high streets Magheru Bd., Calea Victoriei and Calea Dorobanti, and the reborn historical city center.
Bucharest is the first target for an international retailer seeking representation in Romania due to its market size and the fact that the highest sales densities are recorded here. Several major retailers such as COS, Michael Kors, Forever 21, Lanidor and Tati have entered the city during the last two years, while others are exploring the market for future entries.
Calea Victoriei is established as the luxury high street location in Romania, including the mono-brand shops of Gucci, Emporio Armani, Rolex, Max Mara, Burberry, etc. The retail attractiveness of Calea Victoriei started to revive after the enlargement of the pedestrian areas and since Bucharest became a more attractive tourist destination. Adjacent to Calea Victoriei, the HoReCa segment has also developed. Several restaurants and coffee shops being developed in the area of Romanian Athenee, in the vicinity of Radisson Blu and Athenee Palace Hilton five stars hotels.
MAGHERU/N. BALCESCU BOULEVARD
Magheru Boulevard is one of the most important high street areas in Romania. The street has a mass-market profile and a merchandise mix that is dominated by banks, services and food & beverage, while the fashion representation is limited. The most important tenants include names such as McDonald’s, KFC, Stefanel, Terranova, Sephora, Calzedonia, Collective and Vodafone. The northern section of Magheru Boulevard, closest to Romana Square, has the highest footfall and sales, concentrating most of the retail demand.
HISTORICAL CITY CENTER
The historical downtown area, spreading around Lipscani Street, went through an important process of refurbishment during the last few years, transforming the centre from an almost abandoned area into the main destination for a night-out in Bucharest. A large number of pubs, coffee shops and restaurants have opened during the last three years, and the footfall and sales have exceeded expectations. It is the single pedestrian retail area in Bucharest, accounting today for almost 150 shops and 60,000 visitors per day during summer weekends. The first fashion retailers which have decided to expand in the area are Adidas, H&M, Cato, Carturesti and Koton, but several retailers analyze the area, searching for suitable spaces.
BANEASA SHOPPING CITY
Baneasa is the largest retail project in Romania, comprising around 120,000 sq.m GLA of shopping centre space and retail boxes. It includes the 51,500 sq.m Baneasa Shopping City anchored by fashion and leisure operators, the 22,000sq.m Feeria Shopping Centre anchored by Carrefour, the only IKEA in Romania, Brico Depot DIY, Metro Cash & Carry and Mobexpert furniture mall. The scheme is located north of Bucharest, in the wealthiest catchment area in Romania. Baneasa Shopping City is considered the best performing shopping centre in Romania.
AFI PALACE COTROCENI
AFI Palace Cotroceni is the dominant shopping centre in western Bucharest, close to Militari and Drumul Taberei, two high density districts in Bucharest. The scheme is developed over two levels, and has a total letting area of 82.000sq.m. The tenant mix includes a large number of international anchors, along with an extended leisure area with food-court, a 20-screen cinema with the only IMAX in Romania, ice rink, a kid’s playground, casino, indoor roller-coaster and more. The scheme has recorded a 12% year-on-year increase in sales during the first nine months of 2016, enhancing its dominant status.
Sun Plaza (80,000sq.m) is the dominant scheme in southern Bucharest. The scheme opened in 2010 and is anchored by Cora, Leroy Merlin, Zara, H&M, New Yorker, Flanco World, etc. The retail offer is supplemented by a 15-screen Cinema City, bowling alleys and billiard club, casino and a large food-court area. The fashion offer will be extended by the end of 2017 by remodelling the 10,000 sq. m area formerly used as a furniture store.
Mega Mall is the largest shopping center in the eastern area of Bucharest, with a total GLA of 75,500 sq. m. Opened in 2015, the project gathered the majority of fashion retailers present in Romania, a large food-court, a 14 screen Cinema City and a World Class fitness center.
ParkLake Plaza is a 69,000 sq. m GLA shopping center developed in the vicinity of A.I. Cuza Park from the Titan neighbourhood, one of the most dense areas of Bucharest. The project opened in 2016 and managed to attract some new retailers in the market, such as Forever 21 and Lanidor.
Calea Dorobanti is located in the Central-Northern part of Bucharest and became an area of interest for luxury brands due to the high end residential neighborhoods in the area. Dorobanti is also known as a top location for restaurants and cafes and benefits from the proximity of the CBD and Barbu Vacarescu - Floreasca business hub.
Promenada Mall is a 40,500 sq. m GLA shopping center from the northern part of Bucharest, located in the middle of Barbu Vacarescu - Floreasca area, the most dynamic office hub in Bucharest during the last years. One of the key features of the project is the 7,000 sq. m terrace from the 2nd level where there are several restaurants and coffee shops, a kids playground and events areas. NEPI, the landlord, plans to develop a 30,000 sq. m extension to increase the fashion and entertainment offer.
|TOP TEN SHOPPING CENTRES IN BUCHAREST (BY SIZE)|
|CENTER NAME||CITY||SIZE (GLA SQ.M)||YEAR OPENED|
|AFI Palace Cotroceni||Bucharest||82,000||2009|
|Beneasa Shopping Center||Bucharest||73,000||2008|
|Unirea Shopping Center||Bucharest||44,000||1979|
|KEY AREAS / STREETS/SHOPPING CENTERS||CONSUMER PROFILE||MAJOR RETAILERS PRESENT||NEW ENTRANTS||TYPICAL RENT FOR UNIT OF 200 SQM||RANGE OF UNIT SIZES|
|Calea Victoriei||Luxury retailers, dispersed into different sectors of the boulevard.||Burberry, Gucci, Emporio Armani, Rolex, Max Mara, Marc Cain||COS||50 €/sq m/month||50-200 sq.m|
|Calea Dorobanti||Luxury retailers and classy coffee shops concentrated around Piata Dorobanti.||Canali, Brunello Cucinelli, Moschino, Hipnose, Madison, Nespresso, Doncafe, Simona, Paul, High Heels, Frudisiac||Coffeeshop, Ana Baking & Co.||50 €/sq m/month||50-900 sq.m|
|Magheru Boulevard||Mass consumption profile, dominated by services operators. Best sector is placed at Romana Square.||Calzedonia, McDonald’s, KFC, Vodafone, Orange, Stefanel, Terranova, Nike, Sephora, Paul||50 €/sq m/month||50-200 sq.m|
|Historical City Center||Several streets located around Lipscani Street, dominated by pubs, coffee shops and restaurants. The only retail pedestrian area in Bucharest.||H&M, Adidas, Lashez, Cato, Penti||Koton||20-25 €/sq m/month||50-500 sq.m|
|Baneasa Shopping City||Medium and upper-medium retailers from all the retail sectors to target the wealthiest population in Romania.||Zara, H&M, Peek & Cloppenburg, Intersport, Humanic||Michael Kors, Paul & Shark, Chanel||75 €/sq m/month||50-4,000 sq.m|
|AFI Palace Cotroceni||Mass market retailers with a high international representation.||Auchan, Zara, H&M, C&A, Humanic, LC Waikiki, Intersport, SMYK, Flanco, Deichmann, New Yorker, Reserved||Tezenis, Anna Cori, Tezyo, Pepco||65 €/sq m/month||50-3,000 sq.m|
|Promenada Mall||Mass market and premium retailers targeting the employees from the Barbu Vacarescu - Floreasca office submarket.||Zara, H&M, C&A, Peek & Cloppenburg, Massimo Dutti, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, US Polo Assn||Marina Yachting, Diverta||60 €/sq m/month||50-3,500 sq.m|
|Sun Plaza||Mass market retailers, including a large number of anchors.||Cora, Leroy Merlin, Zara, New Yorker, H&M, Debenhams, Hervis, Flanco||Musette, Humanic, Bebe Tei||55 €/sq m/month||50-10,000 sq.m|
|Mega Mall||Mass market retailers with a strong accent on fashion and entertainment||Carrefour, Zara, H&M, New Yorker, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Douglas, Media Galaxy, LC Waikiki, Koton||Peek & Cloppenburg||55 €/sq m/month||50-4,000 sq.m|
|ParkLake Plaza||Mass market retailers with a significant offer of fashion brands||Carrefour, Zara, H&M, Debenhams, Forever 21, Hervis, Intersport, Lanidor, Koton, Reserved, Cinema City||55 €/sq m/month||50-3,000 sq.m|
Data as of November 2016
Bucharest’s food and beverage sector combines traditional restaurants located in historical locations from the old town, such as Hanul lui Manuc and Caru cu Bere, with exquisite international restaurants located mainly in the northern part of the city, in the surroundings of Herastrau and Floreasca lakes.
Italian food is the most popular international cuisine in Bucharest , however there is many more cuisines to choose from; from burgers and steak houses to sushi and Oriental cuisine.
Within shopping centers’ food-courts it is common to find mostly fast-food operators, such as international brands like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Subway, but also local players such as Salad Box, Spartan, Mesopotamia and Oro Toro.
The largest operator in terms of turnover is McDonald’s, while the largest local group is City Grill which operates 15 locations under different brands.
The coffee shop sector is represented mainly by local companies, while international representation is limited to a few names such as Starbucks and Gloria Jean’s Coffees.
The historical city center has become a hotspot for both locals and international tourists. The old architecture, generous outside terraces, pedestrian areas and variety of food and beverage offer have established Lipscani area as the “going-out” destination in Bucharest.
|KEY AREAS||CONSUMER PROFILE||FOOD & BEVERAGE OPERATOR INCLUDING||RENT FOR 350 SQM UNIT|
|Historic City Center||Largest offer of pubs, coffee shops and restaurants. Important nightlife area.||Caru cu Bere, Hanu lui Manuc, Old City, Van Gogh, Curtea Berarilor, Starbucks, Il Pecatto, Cremeria Emilia, Nomad, Bordello||20-25 €/sq.m/month|
|Victoriei Square||Bucharest’s CBD||McDonald’s, Subway, Starbucks, Brioche Doree, Gloria Jeans Coffee, Fitto Café, Divan||25 €/sq.m/month|
|Herastrau Park||Entrepreneurs and Executives for lunch and dinner and Yuppies for the nightlife||Casa di David, La Brasserie, Bonton, Isoletta, Biutiful, Aqua, Bonton, Nuba, Bel Mondo, La Fattoria||25-30 €/sq.m/month|
Data as of November 2016