More than 120 million customers visited IMMOFINANZ’s retail properties in 2017. These properties are branded as STOP SHOP and VIVO! and have roughly 800,000 sqm of rentable space in total. The ten shopping centers which operate under the VIVO! brand attracted nearly 50 million visitors, for an increase of almost 5% over 2016. In addition, the retailers in the VIVO! shopping centers were able to increase their gross sales revenues by more than 6% over the previous year. A comprehensive footfall count in the STOP SHOPs was carried out for the first time in 2017: more than 70 million customers visited the shops in IMMOFINANZ’s retail parks. The number of STOP SHOP locations grew from 58 to 70 during the past year.
“These sound frequency and revenue indicators confirm the success of our customer-oriented brand policy for the retail sector. More than 120 million visitors in 2017 roughly represent the entire population of four of our core markets: Austria, Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic“, explained Dietmar Reindl, COO of IMMOFINANZ. “Tenants welcome our standardised STOP SHOP and VIVO! shopping formats, which stand for good value for money as well as high quality and recognition, and also offer an established presence in eight countries.“ The largest tenants in the retail sector include international top brands like H&M, C&A, Deichmann, KiK, dm, Takko, JYSK, LPP, the Inditex Group and Spar.
Strong brands as the key to fully rented new openings and attractive acquisitions
IMMOFINANZ opened two fully rented own development projects in 2017 – the VIVO! Krosno in Poland and the STOP STOP Lazarevac in Serbia with over 31,000 sqm of space in total – and finalised the acquisition of nine retail parks in Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. The VIVO! brand now includes ten locations in four countries with roughly 310,000 sqm of rentable space and an occupancy rate of 96.8%. The 70 STOP SHOPs are located in eight countries, have roughly 484,000 sqm of rentable space and an occupancy rate of 97.9%.
“Our strategy is not to place our new locations close to existing competitors, but to instead use the available market potential. Our focus is therefore not on large shopping centers, but on smaller and, consequently, very efficient concepts like STOP SHOP and VIVO! which are especially well suited for secondary and tertiary cities without a comparable offering“, explained Gerald Grüll, Head of Asset Management Retail at IMMOFINANZ.
The STOP SHOP retail parks offer a broad range of products with good value for money. With their efficient transport connections and extensive parking, they are ideal for price-conscious “smart shoppers“ who value easy accessibility. The VIVO! shopping centers stand for an uncomplicated shopping experience for the entire family as well as a balanced branch mix with a wide variety of entertainment and recreational options.
Three STOP SHOP locations in Serbia are presently under development: the new retail parks in Požarevac, Vršac and Sremska Mitrovica will have approximately 25,000 sqm of rentable space in total. The STOP SHOPs in Požarevac and Vršac are scheduled to open in April 2018. In Poland, the extension of the VIVO! Stalowa Wola shopping center is currently in progress. It has roughly 22,500 sqm of space and will now be expanded by 2,800 sqm. The new space has been rented and is, in part, already complete.
Parallel to this continued growth, IMMOFINANZ is investing to increase the quality of service and the quality of stays at its existing locations in order to optimise the shopping experience. The related measures include, among others, addition of playgrounds and a gastronomy offering in the form of a cafe at selected STOP SHOPs.
Another focal point is the further improvement of customer communications, among others through digitalisation. IMMOFINANZ has introduced a new customer relationship management system, which allows for even faster and more target group-oriented customer service.
The IMMOFINANZ retail properties
The retail portfolio covered 84 properties in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Serbia and Slovenia at the end of December 2017, which had roughly 820,000 sqm of rentable space in total. Ten of these properties operate under the VIVO! shopping center brand and 70 as STOP SHOPs. The occupancy rate equals 97.2%.