Active Retail Asset Management, European specialist management firm, has announced its strongest performance figures to date.This includes 52 leasing deals during Q1 and Q2 of 2016 across its Czech Republic shopping centre portfolio. ARAM is responsible for the management of major Czech shopping and leisure destinations Forum Nova Karolina in Ostrava, Futurum Hradec Králové in Hradec Králové and Forum Ústí nad Labem in Ústí nad Labem- the first two schemes owned by Meyer Bergman and HOOPP, and Forum Ústí nad Labem owned by New Europe Property Investments plc and Olomouc Retail Park owned by Gemo.
Forum Nova Karolina leads the way as the star performer with 40 leases renewed in 2015 and 41 leases renewed so far this year signed which is significantly ahead of schedule. The centre has also introduced nine new brands since 2015. This positive outlook is supported by a 9% increase in sales and 3% rise in footfall January to May 2016, continuing the strong trend witnessed in 2015 (sales +11%, footfall +9%).
This series of new deals at the centre totals some 17,997 sq ft (1,672 sq m), which includes the food concept SpiceBox, a newcomer to the Czech market. The latest signings also involve Tiger, Parky’s, vegg-go, Bat’a, Bijou Brigitte, Columbia, La Martina and JRC.
With the introduction of these new retailers, Forum Nova Karolina is currently 95% let, with remaining space in solicitors’ hands.
The Czech retail market is proving increasingly irresistible to retailers, with a series of international brands such as Hamley’s, 4F and COS choosing to enter into the country in 2016. The market is growing with a 6.2% increase in retail sales year on year to April 2016. The total volume of real estate transactions exceeded 2.8 billion EUR in 2015 (+40% vs 2014), 28% of which from the retail sector. ARAM has found this trend to be consistent across the rest of its portfolio including shopping centres Futurum Hradec Králové, and Forum Ústí nad Labem, which have shown sales and footfall growth, alongside numerous new lettings and lease renewals (see full information below).