Market Research in ARGO retail parks:

Market Research in ARGO retail parks:

Top of preferences- hypermarkets, electronics & IT or shoes stores

Bucharest, May 28, 2014 – According to a market research conducted in April in retail parks owned by ARGO ( Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund ) in Romania , Sibiu Shopping City has the highest percentage of loyal customers, about 75 % of the respondents reaching commercial center on average 1-3 times per week; in comparison, 65 % of visits Era Shopping Park Iasi with similar frequency, and in other shopping centers in the study , the percentage of this criterion reaches about 60% .

In Romania , Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund has four retail parks in Iasi , Oradea , Sibiu and Suceava .

The study shows that almost 90 % of visitors of Shopping City Sibiu are satisfied and very satisfied with the hypermarket , over 85 % -with the safety and cleanliness provided in the shopping center , and over 72 % – with the shopping experience offered by the variety of products and services eligible . “We can conclude that the visitor loyalty healthy relies on location , mix of retailers and shopping center management , rather than on promotions and discounts . Our retail park in Sibiu has both a very good location and a very well-balanced mix of retailers , enhanced once again by opening stores of international retailers such as Decathlon (2013 ) and H & M (2012 ) “, said Graham Kilbane , COO ARGO .

Next to hypermarkets, overall in the surveyed shopping centers, the most visited are the electronics&ITstores, followed by the shoe stores .

The weekend remains the preferred shopping period by more than 50 % of respondents , while a quarter of them visit the shopping center on Friday and the rest of them on other days of the week.

” Shopping centers have a life cycle like any product, ” birth “, development, maturity . ” The battle ” remains the same – everybody involved target a higher weekly traffic of visitors and increasinge the time spent on shopping ; this requires that, once mature , shopping centers can consistently provide customers with new sights and adapt to the current context , which is becoming increasingly complex as a result of technology and globalization. Thus, continuously optimizing the mix of retailers remains perhaps a more traditional method , but mandatory for the retail parks that want to remain competitive in the market; our shopping centers follow this line , and soon we will be announcing new stores in Sibiu , after the last few months we opened more units in Oradea , Iasi and Suceava , “said Graham Kilbane .

The study was conducted by ARGO by interviewing a sample of about 3,000 people in cities where the company owns business parks , Sibiu , Suceava , Oradea and Iasi .

The number of service providers is increasing in shopping centers

The number of service providers is increasing in shopping centers

Bucharest, 28 July 2014 “The number of service providers present in retail parks owned by ARGO (Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund) in Romania increased by over 20% last year, once again confirming the trend of turning shopping centers from shopping destinations into “global centers”, which comprise all consumers may need, from household products (food, cosmetics, clothing, shoes etc) to entertainment (cafes, restaurants, cinema etc. ) and useful services, such as insurance, currency exchange, tailoring, dry cleaning, travel agencies, etc., “said Steve Preddis, Head of Asset Management ARGO in Romania.
In Romania, Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund has four retail parks in Iasi, Oradea, Sibiu and Suceava.
Out of cca 370 tenants in the retail parks owned by ARGO in Romania (some being present in several or even all four centers), currently about 100 are in the category of service providers; most of the latter are found in Shopping City Sibiu (38) and Shopping City Suceava (29), while centers in Oradea and Iasi are 19 respectively 15 service providers. “Cafes, restaurants, fast – food and laundry sites are found in virtually any retail park, so here we see no major changes in recent years, but other types of services or facilities which have become a constant presence in our centers due to consumer demands: children playground, currency exchange and insurance agencies. We observed increase in terms of number tailors, travel agencies, beauty salons and rooms on gambling “, said Steve Preddis.
For example, of the five new units opened in Sibiu, two are in the category of service: travel agency (tourism Velimed) and a fast food “Salad Box”. “But of course shopping segment itself does not stand still, but evolve itself. Continuing with the example of our center of Sibiu, here we have a new tenant selling accessories (millefiori, Murano glass jewelery) a new shop with professional care products (Pro Beauty shop) and a new footware store known retailer of CCC “said Steve Preddis. The new store in Shopping City Sibiu CCC will have about 400 square meters and will be open until the end of August. CCC is a retailer of Polish origin, who has over 700 stores throughout Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Russia, Hungary, etc.) owned or franchised; in Romania are now over 20 stores under the brand CCC. CCC Store in Shopping City Sibiu is the first local and first ARGO network of shopping centers in Romania.
“Shopping centers are intended to be destinations that meet all consumer’s needs, so that they spend as much time here, as we want visitors to know that for any need or anything they want to do, can come into a shopping center. There is an objective that respects the principle of “win-win” (everyone wins): consumers do their shopping and solve what they need, reducing the time required, since they all in one place, in addition, can and fun if you want. Meanwhile, sales of retailers present in the commercial are growing, so we can all meet our business goals while we satisfy the needs of the community, “said Steve Preddis.

JYSK opens new store in Sibiu

Shopping City Sibiu expands:

JYSK opens new store in Sibiu

Bucharest, 20 August 2014 Danish furniture retailer and interior JYSK Sibiu market expands, opening in Shopping City Sibiu the 18th store in Romania; unit will be the first of Sibiu and also the first in shopping centers owned by ARGO network (Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund) in Romania.
“To accommodate the new store JYSK, Shopping City Sibiu will assign an independent unit with two loors dedicated exclusively Danish retailer. Store will have an area of 1,300 square meters and will be built as an individual unit in the shopping center parking lot near the units Mobexpert and Zoomania, “said Avi Shloush, Commercial Director Argo Capital Management.
GROUP JYSK opened its first store in Denmark in 1979, and today has over 2,100 units in 36 countries; in Germany and Austria, operates under the name Dänisches Bettenlager, JYSK being used in the world. Behind JYSK Group is the founder and owner of the company, Lars Larsen, who owns the furniture retail chains Bolia.com, IDEmøbler and ILVA, and other companies; total turnover of all companies LARS LARSEN GROUP is 2.9 billion.
JYSK has entered the market in Romania in 2007 and now has stores network in Bucharest, Arad, Baia Mare, Constanta, Cluj, Deva, Galati, Oradea, Pitesti, Satu Mare, Suceava, Targu Mures, Timisoara si- in curand- in Sibiu.
JYSK is one of the leading retailers of furniture and furnishings from Europe. The company sells home and garden furniture, mattresses, quilts, pillows, curtains, decorations, home accessories, bath products, storage solutions, etc.
“JYSK store will increase the mix of retailers in our shopping center in Sibiu, as dedicated area furnishings and decorations will increase by 15%, giving buyers more options in Sibiu, in addition, offer JYSK is a very suitable addition to products of the same class sold by other retailers. We are glad that the first store that Danish retailer opens it in Sibiu will be hosted by our shopping center, “said Avi Shloush.
The deal was facilitated by real estate consultancy company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). “Shopping City Sibiu is one of the best shopping centers in the country, the regional importance, where the strongest international retailers operates in a while. After expansion in Bucharest and cities with 300,000 inhabitants (as Timisoara, Cluj, Constanta etc.), Sibiu is the next destination for retailers looking for a performance center with very good traffic. JYSK chose this option precisely these reasons, the center is one of the priorities of this retailer expansion, “said Carmen Ravon, Head of Retail Agency of JLL.
Following the extension of the space with the new unit will be built to accommodate JYSK store, the Shopping City Sibiu GLA will reach about 81,500 square meters and the degree of occupancy will rise to 98%.
New JYSK store in Sibiu will be inaugurated in mid-October.

Market Research in ARGO shopping centers

Market Research in ARGO shopping centers:

Most visitors are men under age of 30 with superior education

Bucharest, January 18, 2014 –
According to a market research conducted in the shopping centers that Argo ( Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund ) owns in Romania , between 60-87 % of the visitors come in those locations to purchase groceries; in addition, many of them also by clothes , “peaks ” in this segment being recorded in Sibiu ( 40 % of all visitors ) and Suceava (about 37% of visitors of the Shopping City Suceava). Cosmetics and care products rank third amongst the most purchased items, the highest percentages being recorded for the buyers in the ARGO commercial parks in Iasi (29% ) and Sibiu ( 23 %). IT and electronics are most successful in Sibiu and Suceava , being acquired by about 13 % of buyers in each of those ARGO shopping centers .

The study was conducted by DTZ Echinox at the request of ARGO , by interviewing a total sample of 3200 visitors exiting shopping centers owned by the company in Sibiu , Suceava , Oradea and Iasi .
Naturally, most people visited the shopping parks to for shopping , but the study shows that many peoplecame in to compare and check products prices, the highest percentages in this respect being recorded in Sibiu (15.2 % of the visitors ) and Suceava (about 10% of the visitors). Promotions and special offers attracted about 13 % of the visitors of Shopping City Sibiu , 10.2 % of buyers in Era Shopping Park Iasi , 8.5 % of the visitors of Shopping City Suceava and 5.8% of Oradeans who came into the Era Shopping Park Oradea.

Approximately 19.5% of the visitors in Shopping City Sibiu and nearly a third of the customers in Shopping City Suceava visited the centers to relax and to enjoy the leisure facilities. “Shopping Centers had became a while ago locations where people not only do their shopping, so their role as regards relaxation and fun was naturally confirmed by this study. Moreover, according to the research , discounts campaigns, concerts and thematic trade fairs are on the first places in the top actions that attract visitors and, despite the fact that this finding is not surprising, the differences from one region to another are interesting, “said Graham Kilbane , COO ARGO .
The customers surveyed in Iasi placed thematic fairs first among the events that stimulates them to visit the shopping center, followed by instant prizes , while social events ranked last. The residents of Sibiu , on the other hand, are drawn in primarily by discounts, followed by concerts and prefer less the sporting events organized into the commercial park; the first two places are the same as regars the shopping center in Suceava , while Oradeans surveyed showed that they prefer concerts , and on second place discounts .
” The demographic profile of ARGO shopping centers’ visitors is becoming more and more interesting , the majority being represented by men younger than 30 years old who have an university degree . Given that Romania has a feminine gender population rate of 51.4 %, according to the last census in 2011, and the shopping is traditionally considered as a feminine occupation , the study’s results show that we are witnessing an interesting transformation of the commercial centers’ public, which reflects the dynamics of the retailers’ mix and entertainment facilities in shopping centers , “said Graham Kilbane . The market research revealed that ARGO shopping centers’ visitors are mostly male : 58.8 % of visitors in Era Shopping Park Iasi are men, and the situation is similar in Sibiu (57.7 % ) , Oradea ( 57 % ) and Suceava ( 51 % ) .
ARGO shopping parks have a young public, the percentage of the visitors under 30 years old raging from 37 % in Iasi to 55% in Sibiu, key factors being the mix of shops and leisure facilities available in each of the centers; the percentage of university graduates amongst the visitors of the surveyed centers commercial is between 30 % in Suceava to almost 60% in Iasi, while in the Shopping City Sibiu over 15 % of visitors have higher studies.
” Market researches that we regularly conduct for knowing better our visitors show a growing dynamic as regards the changes in consumer behavior and its profile; the changes are becoming more frequent and far-reaching, so the reaction time of retailers and shopping centers is becoming shorter , they must constantly reinvent themselves at a fast pace for being successful in the coming years , “said Graham Kilbane .

Decathlon opens a new store in Shopping City Suceava

On April 4 ,Decathlon opens a new store in Shopping City Suceava


Shopping center’s occupancy reaches almost 100% . Suceava is the first location where Decathlon opens a new store this year in Romania. Suceava Shopping Center’s management expects a minimum of 20 % overall increase in traffic in the commercial center in the opening weekend.

Bucharest, March 14, 2014 – Shopping City Suceava will open Friday, April 4 , the new Decathlon store, the third one in the network of shopping centers owned by the Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund ( ARGO ), one of the largest retail parks owners in Romania . Suceava Decathlon store will have an area of 1,600 square meters and it will be the first unit that the retailer will open this year in Romania .

Decathlon is a French company, present in over 15 countries with over 400 stores, being the largest European retailer of sporting goods; the brand belongs to Mulliez family , which also has Auchan hypermarkets , Kiabi stores and Leroy Merlin DIY. Decathlon sells products for almost any sport and for any level of sport performance, giving buyers the opportunity to test items and to engage in sporting activities carried free in stores; the company entered the romanian market in 2009 and once the Suceava store will be open, it will have 13 units on the local market.

“Suceava Decathlon store will sell about 15,000 products corresponding to more than 50 sports . The market is oriented mainly to outdoor sports (running, hiking, biking , rollers etc ) and sports to keep you fit ( fitness or swimming ) , so the store managers expect that the articles associated to these sports to be most in demand this spring “, said Graham Kilbane , COO ARGO . Decathlon store in Shopping City Suceava will be the largest sporting goods store in the region; the shopping center management expects overall traffic increase of 20% in the weekend in which French retailer unit will be launched.
Decathlon joins existing anchors from Shopping City Suceava , namely Carrefour , Media Galaxy , MOBEXPERT , Baumax , New Yorker , Deichman , Takko Fashion etc .The new store will also help optimizing the mix of retailers in location. Moreover, with the opening of Decathlon store, commercial centers’ occupancy rate will reach nearly 100%. “There are quite a few shopping centers in Romania fully occupied, and such performance is even greater as the overall consumption and retail in Romania still has not recovered from the crisis ;at least another 1-2 years from now are needed- in my opinion- for being able to talk about a true revival in this sector , “said Graham Kilbane .

Up to date, Decathlon has opened stores in three of the four retail parks owned by ARGO in Romania , namely in Era Shopping Park Iasi (where, since 2010, there is functional one of the largest units in Romania , 5,300 sqm, including land designed for sport ), in Shopping City Sibiu (launched in 2013) and soon in Suceava Shopping City .
Decathlon sells both its own brands and a number of famous brands of sports equipment , promising buyers quality at competitive prices and a 2 year warranty . In addition, Decathlon stores offer extra services such as repairs and maintenance for ski equipment , bicycles, tennis rackets , roller , fitness equipment etc.

Strong increase of local brands in Shopping City Suceava

ARGO network of shopping centers:

Strong increase of local brands in Shopping City Suceava


More shopping for the inhabitants in Suceava-: local, national and international brands; 14 new stores , mostly being present only Shopping City Suceava

Bucharest, May 7, 2014 – The areas occupied by the local retailers ( from Suceava county or region of Moldavia ) increased by over 20 % in the tenant mix of Shopping City Suceava at this moment, compared to areas rented by the same category in the same period of 2013; this was the highest percentage increase recorded by local retailers in the shopping center network owned by Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund ( ARGO ), one of the largest owners of retail parks in Romania .

Over 3,500 sqm were leased in Shopping City Suceava in recent months : this spring the shopping center celebrates six years of activity, with an occupancy rate of almost 100%, in which the local retailers now account for 39%, national brands – for about 46 % and international retailers – 15%.
” Shopping centers must follow a certain line of adaptation to local markets and should try as much as possible to support the communities to which they belong. Encouraging local businesses is part of our policy, and Shopping City Suceava achieves an occupancy of nearly 100 % also due to the fact that in recent months – along with large national and international names- some local companies have opened new stores to complement the mix of retailers in our shopping center”, said Graham Kilbane, COO ARGO .

Increasing the number of local retailers has been intense in recent months, when eight companies have signed leases with Shopping City Suceava , most of these units being already opened . Among the new destinations in the shopping center there are Next Level ( fashion retailer known to the people in Suceava ) , Neo Fashion ( fashion store for ladies and men , specialized in shirts and suits ) , Ghio `s (another fashion store for Ladies and Men ) , Madeleine ( jewelry and accessories), a tailor , an optician shop , a restaurant (which will open soon ) and an electrical appliance store Electro Top . The company -Bucovina Electro Top- is a retailer of home appliances with 100% Romanian capital, which is operating in the local market for over eight years and has developed a regional network of specialized shops. “It’s one of the examples of the businesses that we encourage to get in our retail parks , as on one hand they support the local economy and on the other hand it reflects the specificity of a certain area into the mix of retailers, helping to differentiate the shopping centers ” , said Graham Kilbane .

The number of national retailers has also increased in recent months in Shopping City Suceava, the new shops in this category including SCUZA ( traditional food ) , Eponge Fashion Paris (men and women fashion), La Scarpa (shoes and accessories) , Noriel (toy retail market leader) etc .
International brands have also increased their presence in Shopping City Suceava, among them being Decathlon ( Europe ‘s largest retailer of sporting goods ) and soon , Coccodrillo one of the most popular Central and Eastern Europe clothing brands for children.
Most of the new units opened only in Shopping City Suceava .

Shopping City Suceava performed well last year in terms of tenant mix diversity and how it meets the requirements of the local market, having at the same time, in our estimation, a stable portfolio of tenants. At its six years celebration we can say that Shopping City Suceava is a successful project , “said Graham Kilbane

ARGO Shopping centers in Romania in 2013

ARGO Shopping centers in Romania in 2013:

Entertainment and sports retail areas – the largest expansions

Third place in the surfaces’ growth top is occupied by lingerie shops, while cafes and restaurants come next.

Bucharest, 5th of March, 2014 – In the shopping centers owned in Romania by Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund (ARGO), one of the largest owners of retail parks in the country, entertainment area recorded overall in 2013, the largest percentage increase as surface (68 %) from the previous year. On the second place is the surface dedicated to sports retail, which last year recorded an overall expansion of 50 % in the analyzed commercial centers, compared to 2012, mainly due to the opening of the new Decathlon store in Shopping City Sibiu; in the spring of 2014, after the inauguration of Decathlon in Shopping City Suceava, the total surface will increase by another 18%.
“On one hand, these peaks indicate segments that have had a development potential in the respective cities; in the end we have a mix of retailers much better adapted to the needs of each retail park. On the other hand, the trend regarding the increasing the role of shopping centers as leisure options was reconfirmed; of course that malls are more suitable for entertainment activities than the retail parks (such as ARGO locations are ), but still the latter must keep pace and adapt to market trends “, said Graham Kilbane , COO ARGO .

In third place as regards the percentage of growth in ARGO shopping centers, there are the areas rented by lingerie and stockings shops, which in 2013 occupied by 43% more square meters than in 2012. Cafes and restaurants have also expanded last year , the area that they have rented in ARGO shopping centers being increased by 31% in 2013 compared to the previous year; the evolution was due to the increase of these space in Era Shopping Center Iasi and to new cafés and restaurants’ openings in Shopping City Sibiu. Optics stores, pharmacies, electronics, furniture and products for the home ware were also amongst the retailers having expanded overall, last year, in ARGO shopping centers in Romania.
“Of course there were also segments whose surfaces have stalled or have restrained last year, due to the fact that some retailers have closed operations in Romania (such as Sprider) or due to reduced surface rented by some of the current retailers. However, the lease signed last year by our shopping centers cumulated areas are larger than the decreases registered by other retailers , so the retail parks owned by ARGO in Romania recorded an increase of the occupancy rates: Shopping Park Oradea reached 92 %, Shopping City Sibiu has an occupancy rate of 96%, Shopping City Suceava will have an occupancy rate of 99 % after the opening of the new Decathlon store, and occupancy of the Era Shopping Park Iasi is 97 %, ” said Graham Kilbane .

Among the sectors that have diminished the areas rented last year in ARGO locations in the country there are, for example, perfumeries. Newspapers and souvenirs shops decreased the most the leased space in shopping centers ARGO 2013 (38% compared to 2012).
Medium term developments (ie the period from 2011 to 2013 ) confirm certain trends – for example, surfaces of cafes and restaurants , as well as those for the entertainment increased in each of the past two years overall in ARGO commercial parks .
“Increasing the occupancy rate of a shopping center is, of course, a permanent objective of any owner, but the” recipe ” for success is clearly related to how retailers mix corresponds to the needs of the market it covers, so the lease that we will sign in the current year will follow this line, “said Graham Kilbane.

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