Austria’s IMMOFINANZ, one of the largest commercial real estate groups in Central and Eastern Europe, has activities focused on retail and office segments, with a property portfolio worth more than five billion euros. The company owns and manages office and retail properties, while its portfolio is concentrated on three brands: ‘STOP SHOP’ and ‘VIVO!’ for retail and ‘myhive’ for offices.
When it comes to commercial real estate and the retail industry in Serbia, the market has huge potential thanks to significant demand for retail space. That’s why IMMOFINANZ came to Serbia with its STOP SHOP brand in 2015, when our initial investment amounted to 60 million euros. By the time of the opening of our 10th STOP SHOP in Serbia, which is as many as there are today, that investment had increased to roughly 112 million euros.
A concept such as a retail park is ideal for countries like Serbia. STOP SHOP is a decentralised retail format, while our biggest advantage and opportunity in terms of competition is the fact that we’ve decided to focus on small cities, with a catchment area of 30,000 to 150,000 residents, and to bring them global brands. There is free market potential that we want to utilise.
Moreover, when we created the STOP SHOP concept we took care of another thing: everything in the SEE region is concentrated in capitals and many people in smaller cities are eager for various contents and seeking additional ways to spend their free time together.
The typical tenant mix at STOP SHOP retail parks includes fashion, furniture and household items, supermarket & food, electronics, health & beauty and sports. All of our STOP SHOPs offer a wide range of culinary and entertainment contents, as well as a good quality of stay
Many customers also no longer want to travel an hour or two to the next large shopping centre, opting instead to visit our smaller STOP SHOPs, which is why we have such good growth rates.
So it was very important for us to explore the general environment in which we’ve been planning our business and to be informed about customers, both in terms of their purchasing power and their social habits. STOP SHOP retail parks create an optimal atmosphere for price-conscious families, while providing a broad range of products with convincing cost-benefit ratios. We have implemented a mix of leisure, sports and entertainment brands, and even cinemas or ice-skating extensions in green surroundings. Thus, the typical tenant mix at STOP SHOP retail parks includes fashion, furniture and household items, supermarket & food, electronics, health & beauty and sports. All of our STOP SHOPs offer a wide range of culinary and entertainment contents, as well as a good quality of stay.
These are some of the reasons why IMMOFINANZ has been recognised as one of the most successful companies in the region’s commercial real estate sector. The company received the award for the Best Retail Developer of the Year at the ceremony for the CRE Awards 2019, which is why we are encouraged to further expand our STOP SHOP retail parks on the Serbian market. So, as we promised, we are here to stay.