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A record number of 80 retailers entered Romania since 2013, covering a retail surface of over 30,000 sq m, reveals a new report from CBRE called “How Active is the Romanian Retail Market”. In total these 80 new brands opened up close to 170 new stores and are planning to open at least 30 new stores in the next 12 months.

The variety of brands, the occupied surface, and the type of location chosen for first opening is intensely varied. The brands range from luxury retailers, like Vionnet or Michael Kors, to value fashion, in the form of Sinsay and Mohito, to homeware (H&M Home, English Home) or even coffee and restaurants (Tchibo Coffee Store or Columbus Café). This record number of new entries is correlated with strong macro-economic indicators, mainly an average annual GDP real growth in the analysed period of 3.3%, substantially above that of many other European countries.

In general, for their first local store retailers select prime locations (94% go this route), within shopping centres (82%), in Bucharest (68%). Second option for retailers, especially those in the Luxury and
Business sector, is to opt for High Street or Shopping Galleries. While the capital clearly is favourite, this doesn’t mean that regional cities are ignored – 1 in 3 retailers will go to such a place, while more than half opened or will open stores in regional places. Most attractive regional cities are: Constanta, Timisoara, Brasov, Ploiesti, Iasi and Cluj Napoca.

Fashion retailers account for almost half of the total new entries, followed by retailers in the Coffee & Restaurant category. While during the boom period of 2006 – 2008 the predominant business model was a franchisee operation, this holds true only to a certain extent. 65% of new brands chose this type of operation, with only one in three entering the market direct. In terms of domain of activity of retailers and type of operation there is a substantial difference – while 88% of Coffee and Restaurants, 71% of Luxury
and Business and 86% of Mid Range Fashion are operated via franchise, only 40% of Homeware retailers and 0% of Supermarkets chose this model.

Retailers from Italy, USA and France are the most active in terms of new entry and they account for half of new brand entries. Retailers from Poland, Germany and UK opened up the highest number of stores.

Laura Dumea Bencze, Head of Research Romania & CEE Research Analyst mentioned: “Looking ahead we expect to see more international brands as the attractiveness of Romania as a retail destination will increase. This will be factored by strong macro-economic indicators, increase in consumer spending, fiscal relaxation and increase of income availability for purchases”.

Luiza Moraru, Head of Retail & Asset Services Romania declared: “In terms of type of retailers and type of operation, the existing patterns will mostly continue in the coming period – fashion brands, franchisees, and European names will lead the expansion model in Romania. We expect regional cities to attract more new brands, as the offer of third generation centres, highly attractive for retailers, will increase with new schemes or refurbishments of successful existing ones”.

While Romania has been a magnet for international brands, retailers from our country have been active as well on a global market. Among the most active we can name: Musette, Farmec, Nissa, Braiconf and eMAG, targeting markets especially in Europe.

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Published on: 18 09 2015

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