New acquisitons, high occupancy rate and donations for the community as highlights of the year
The Austrian company IMMOFINANZ, leading listed commercial real estate investor in Central and Eastern Europe, marks five years of its successful operations in Serbia. Since 2015, the company has opened 10 STOP SHOP retail parks with the aim to bring global trends to the local population, and with the most recent acquisitions the number will rise to 14 locations.
Looking back on the past business year, being a very challenging one due to COVID-19 pandemic, STOP SHOP has proven to be very successful and crisis-resilient, which is why IMMOFINANZ is continuing the expansion of its retail park brand in Serbia. The company acquired properties in Leskovac, Sabac, Sombor and Zajecar with roughly 28,200 sqm of rentable space, so the Serbian STOP SHOP portfolio will now include 14 properties with approximately 121,000 sqm.
When it comes to handling the pandemic, STOP SHOPs in Serbia have quickly adapted to the changes and remained a safe place for shopping. Undertaking necessary safety measures and active communication with the customers were one of the most important factors in order for the retail parks to adapt its business to new circumstances. Being a responsible company, IMMOFINANZ in Serbia endeavored to be available for up-to-date information and can proudly state that visitor frequency in STOP SHOPs in our country has overall quickly returned to the pre-crisis level.
IMMOFINANZ continues to have a high occupancy rate of 99,7% in Serbia, while the demand for space in STOP SHOPs remains stable. Low rental and operating costs for tenants, which is especially important during economically challenging times, remained one the most important things for the company. This year, retail parks also showed to have a decisive advantage, since they offer shopping outdoors and visitors can enter the shops directly from the parking areas, so this decentralized retail format showed as the biggest advantage of IMMOFINANZ during 2020.
In an effort to help the community, all STOP SHOPs in Serbia showed social responsibility by donating health packages worth over 5,000 euros to the centers for social work, associations and humanitarian organizations in 10 cities in which IMMOFINANZ’s retail parks are currently open – Belgrade, Nis, Valjevo, Vrsac, Cacak, Pozarevac, Smederevo, Subotica, Sremska Mitrovica and Lazarevac. The packages contained disinfectants, protective masks and gloves for their users and employees.
STOP SHOP retail parks in Serbia, with an attractive tenant mix, continue to create an optimal ambience for price-conscious families and provide a broad range of products with convincing cost-benefit ratios. IMMOFINANZ came to Serbia in 2015, when the company’s initial investment amounted to 60 million euros. By the time of the acquisition of the 14th STOP SHOP in Serbia, the investment increased to roughly 150 million euros.