The Austrian company IMMOFINANZ, a leading investor in commercial real estate in the market of Central and Eastern Europe, is marking five years of successful operations in Serbia. Since 2015, the company has opened 10 STOP SHOP retail parks, aiming to bring global trends to the local community, and with the recent acquisitions, the company will have a total of 14 retail parks throughout Serbia.
The past business year has been very challenging, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but STOP SHOP has proven to be very successful and resilient to the crisis, which is why IMMOFINANZ continues to expand its brand of retail parks in Serbia. The company will open new STOP SHOPs in Leskovac, Sabac, Sombor and Zajecar, with around 28,200 square meters of rent space, so the Serbian STOP SHOP portfolio will contain 14 retail parks, with close to 121,000 square meters.
When it comes to doing business in the new circumstances of the pandemic, the STOP SHOPs in Serbia have quickly adapted to the changes and remained safe shopping places. Taking the necessary safety measures and active communication with the consumers have been some of the most important factors in the process of adapting the operations of retail parks to the new circumstances. As a responsible company, IMMOFINANZ in Serbia has made an effort to be available to all the latest information and can proudly emphasize that the visiting rate at STOP SHOPs has quickly gone back the pre-crisis level.
IMMOFINANZ continues to maintain the high occupancy rate of 99.7% in Serbia, whereas the demand for space at STOP SHOPS remains stable. Low rent and operating costs for tenants, which is especially important during economically challenging times, have remained one of the company’s most important characteristics. Also, retail parks have proven that they have a crucial advantage this year, because they offer outdoor shopping and the visitors can enter the stores directly from the parking lot, so this decentralized retail format has turned out to be the biggest advantage of IMMOFINANZ in 2020.
In an effort to help the community, all STOP SHOPs in Serbia have displayed corporate responsibility by donating health packages worth over EUR 5,000 to welfare centers, associations and humanitarian organizations in the 10 cities which feature IMMOFINANZ retail parks at the moment – Belgrade, Nis, Valjevo, Vrsac, Cacak, Pozarevac, Smederevo, Subotica, Sremska Mitrovica and Lazarevac. The packages contain disinfection products, protective masks and gloves meant for the users and the employees at said institutions.
The STOP SHOP retail parks in Serbia, with an attractive mix of tenants, continue creating the optimal atmosphere for families which pay attention to the price and offering a wide range of products at affordable prices relative to the quality. IMMOFINANZ came to Serbia in 2015, when the company’s initial investment amounted to EUR 60 million. By the acquisition of the 14th STOP SHOP in Serbia, the investments had grown to nearly EUR 150 million.
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