The total retail stock in the end of Q1 2016 is 830,000 sq m, compared to 877,000 sq m in the end of 2015. The main changes are the closing of the largest shopping center in Plovdiv – Galleria Plovdiv and the introduction of new retail space in the recently completed San Stefano Plaza in Sofia. The construction of Markovo Tepe Mall, with GLA of 18,000 sq m, is ongoing. The opening is expected in H2 2016. The new concept of City Center Sofia attracted new anchor tenants among which Reserved, CCC and Sport Depot. There is an overall increase in vacant space in the shopping centers. Vacancy rate increased to 13,6% compared to 12,8% in Q4 2015. The Retail Sales Index measured by the National Statistical Institute increased by 1% y-o-y as of January 2016. Textile, clothing, footwear and leather goods are among the best performing categories on a yearly basis (6,1%).
For further market highlights review MBL Retail Spaces Bulgaria Q1|2016: