The Russian shopping centre market will overtake the UK in the next year to become the second largest market for shopping centres in Europe.
As the Russian retail market significantly expands over the next 12 to 18 months the UK will slip into third position according to a report published by property consultants Cushman & Wakefield.
France and the UK are currently the top two markets in terms of existing shopping centre space with 16.95m sq m and 16.48m sq m respectively. Russia, which has 16.47m sq m of space, will surpass the UK as new developments are completed.
New shopping centre space across Europe is expected to reach 7m sq m in 2013, the highest level since 2009, when it reached 7.8m sq m.
Russia will account for 22% of this, equating to 2.4sq m in total.
Turkey is also forecast to see a strong rise with a 23% increase, or 1.55m sq m, scheduled to open by the end of 2014. Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Ukraine are also forecast for double digit growth in shopping centre floorspace by the end of 2014.
Justin Taylor, chief executive of UK retail at C&W, said: “The projected upturn in European shopping centre development activity for 2013 is encouraging. Many major projects that were scheduled for completion last year were delayed – these are now back on track and look set to open in 2013.”
He added: “Central and Eastern Europe will continue to dominate the immediate future; 70% of all new space added in 2013 will be located there. We are also seeing a trend of mature Western European markets shifting focus towards refurbishing and extending existing schemes rather than sourcing new space for development.”