At the peak of the development of the trade center and retail market, this sector stumbled upon a new obstacle – the coronavirus pandemic. In many countries, trace centers have been partially or fully closed since March 2020, as one of the measures for suppressing the spreading of the virus. While queues grew in front of grocery stores, in the first weeks of the pandemic, nobody thought about the purchase of so-called inessential goods. The situation, however, changed with time. After the state of emergency was lifted in Serbia, queues formed in front of trade centers as well.
In 2019, in Belgrade alone, the total commercial space within trade centers amounted to a total of 284,000 m2, as shown by a report of the consulting company CBRE. The local retail market is still interesting to foreign investors, because it is insufficiently developed compared to the markets in the region. We present the investments in trade centers that drew the most attention from eKapija’s readers.1. Russian MERE in Serbia
The Russian discount store chain Svetofor, known in European countries under the MERE brand, has begun operating in the Serbian market, and the first store in Serbia opened in the Belgrade settlement of Batajnica.2. Galerija Belgrade trade center
Galerija Belgrade, the largest trade center in the region, which takes up 300,000 m2, opened in late October 2020
.3. IKEA retail park Bubanj potok
IKEA has finished the preparatory works for the beginning of the construction of AVA Shopping Park, an outdoor trade center which will be located next to the department store in Bubanj potok. With this investment, worth over EUR 50 million, IKEA will employ an additional 400 workers in Serbia, and the foundation stone is to be laid down in early 2021