Turkey talks shop – demand for shopping space there now one of Europe’s highest

Highlighting Turkey’s growing middle class and its appetite for a consumer lifestyle, the country completed the second largest amount of new shopping space anywhere in Europe during the first half of 2013. The number one spot was taken by Russia.

A report by international property consultancy Cushman Wakefield also showed that Turkey is second in terms of shopping space – measured as gross leasable area (GLA) – in the pipeline for the next 18 months. Over 1.5 million square metres of GLA are scheduled to be completed in the country, with nearly a third of this planned for Istanbul. Assuming all projects are completed on schedule, this would represent an 18 per cent increase in shopping centre space in Turkey.

In the first half of 2013, total GLA in Turkey increased by 422,500 square metres, with the largest retail opening being the Vialand Theme Park, which includes 110,000 square metres of shopping centre GLA. Vialand, which opened in May this year, is Turkey’s first ever dedicated theme park and entertainment centre, built on an area the size of 100 football pitches in Istanbul. The UK was in third spot with 182,600 square metres, while Poland and Germany were fourth and fifth respectively, together delivering 214,200 square metres of GLA.

In total, around 1.8 million square metres of new shopping space was delivered onto the European market in the first half of 2013. Central and Eastern European countries accounted for the majority of this total, with their share increasing to 70 per cent compared with the previous six months.