The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » Monthly - July 13, 2016
Business & Economy
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Brainstorming the Future of Retail
More than 1,400 retail industry professionals flocked to Warsaw June 1-2 to discuss the future of the industry and conduct business negotiations at the annual ReDI CEE Trade Fair for Retail Investment.

More than 150 retail projects from countries including Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Serbia were presented at the event, which was held for the third time and attracted representatives from 550 investors and 400 retail brands, in addition to developers and mangers.

“The Polish retail market is increasingly mature, meeting the European average in terms of retail space saturation,” said Radosław Knap, general manager of the Polish Council of Shopping Centers, an organization that brings together shopping center and high-street store operators. “Over 150 retail facilities were presented during this year’s trade fair, not just from Poland but also from other Central and Eastern European countries. The international dimension of the trade fair is also underscored by the involvement of many international partners, such as the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the European Property Federation and Euralia, all of which were represented at the Warsaw event. We find the activity of city authorities to be just as important. They not only lent their name to the trade fair, but were present during the event, looking for dialogue and business partners.”

The ReDI trade fair is a venue for meetings and talks between representatives from cities, tenants, developers and financial institutions operating on the Central and Eastern European market.

Patrick Delcol, president of the Polish Council of Shopping Centers, said he was happy that a record 1,400 retail industry professionals took part in this year’s trade fair. He added that the number of exhibitors was significantly higher than in previous years, testifying to the good condition of the market. He also expressed his appreciation of how the Warsaw authorities actively supported the event, as he put it. This is a promising first step in the run-up to an ICSC conference that will be held in Warsaw in April, he said.

More than 50 exhibitors took part in this year’s trade fair, presenting a portfolio of more than 150 shopping centers in Poland and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe. The trade fair attracted visitors from countries including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and Britain. The event was held at Warsaw’s National Stadium under the auspices of more than 30 media outlets and 20 trade organizations.

The ReDI Trade Fair also provided opportunities for exchanging knowledge and experience. Four discussion panels were held during this year’s event and two special reports were presented. Panelists discussed some of the industry’s most important topics, such as new brands on the market, the intricacies of tenancy agreements, the role of the labor market in the retail industry, children-friendly shopping centers, and shopping streets in the CEE region. Discussions also focused on some of the latest issues connected with legal and tax changes on the market, such as a new retail tax and a plan to restrict shopping on Sundays.