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Fashion retail chains compete for space in Hungary

Leading European fashion and clothing retail chains are looking to expand in major cities other than Budapest, in response to a shortage of rental space at
shopping malls in the capital, daily Magyar Hírlap said. Competition among multinational companies is fierce for retail spaces sized 1,000 to 1,500 square metres in the central shopping malls of Budapest, a real estate expert told the paper. In downtown West End City Centre for instance, German C+A cut in at the last minute in front of Spanish Zara, which had already put up its logo on the doors, to grab hold of the last sizeable space available. Swedish clothing chain Hennes+Mauritz reacted somewhat slowly, and ended up opening its first, 600sqm store in the main shopping and tourist area of Váci street only yesterday. Learning from the mistake, H+M is already seeking space for future stores in addition to a 2,800 sqm space, scheduled to open in central Vörösmarty square in 2007. Potential venues are the major cities of Veszprém and Szombathely (W Hungary) or Pécs (S Hungary), but competitors are already looking in these towns as well, Magyar Hírlap reported.