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Much has changed in the way people shop, which is naturally orienting retail in new directions. Whether it’s high-end or the nearby strip mall, the economic recovery is giving hopes all around for better times on the retail market.

small retail in the zone


The past years have been overall unfavorable for retail property development and also brought what appears to be a key change in how people prefer to do their shopping.
The economic crisis strongly depleted families’ disposable income which was also reflected in retail volumes and the response of sellers, which was anything between store closure to downscaling and reducing the space they used in the retail facilities.
The times were challenging for the shopping centers. The established players normally did well for themselves, others had to reinvent, while yet others had to admit defeat in the face of market tendencies.
The lay of the land is also changed in that it is legally no longer allowed or at least strongly restricted to build new shopping malls, on the one hand because of the cited environmental concerns and also to support small retail that took a major blow with the arrival of shopping centers.
Outcries against the move, saying it’s going to hurt the already troubled construction industry, quickly died down for the simple reason that there may not be any need to build new malls anyway. Apparently, people have gotten tired of shopping in big-box retail.
As a result, the new trend is to build small and build more, be a convenience rather than a destination. New units are popping up everywhere and despite the setback seen on the high street, luxury retailers are very much active in the Andrássy area.
Hungarians are hopeful that the economic recovery that started last year will not only continue but also strengthen, creating more jobs, allowing debts to be paid off and leaving more money with households to spend on the needs they neglected in the stringent years of the recent past.
When that happens, the retailers will also be asking for more room to sell, which the malls will be overjoyed to provide.

luxury shoes: only a step away


Austrian quality shoe brand HÖGL opened its new store in Hungary on Andrássy út with the assistance of CBRE. This latest unit, located on Budapest’s prominent luxury high street, is HÖGL’s largest store in the region.
Austrian footwear brand HÖGL is already well known in Hungary with stores in the capital at Arena Plaza and Allee Center. The new flagship store, located across the street from the recently opened Il Bacio di Stile luxury department store, opened in February 2014 and is the brand’s largest store including home country Austria and showcases their newest store concept.
The internationally successful Austrian quality footwear brand combines a feel for current trends with maximum wearing comfort and provides fashionable, high-quality footwear and accessoires for women at affordable prices. Having developed from a traditional Austrian family enterprise, HÖGL has now become one of the leading manufacturers of premium quality shoes worldwide.

nespresso Boutique:coffee culture thrives


Good news for coffee lovers that Nespresso opened its second boutique in Hungary. The boutique, just as the one on Andrássy út, offers customers a multi-sensorial space where they can discover the entire Nespresso product range whilst enhancing their own coffee expertise. The design of the 118 square meter shop is very modern, open and sophisticated with rosewood panels and porcelain floor tiles. The boutique is divided into different parts by their function: there is a very spectacular capsule wall for coffee sales, a machine corner demonstrating the whole machine range and a Club desk where new customers can register for the Nespresso Club. All customers are welcome for a cup of coffee in the Bar where they have a chance to experience the quality of Nespresso portioned coffee, with coffee specialists on hand to guide tastings. The boutique offers a recycling corner where the used capsules are collected as well.

Year of opening: 2014 • Shop area: 118 sqm

Shopping on a human scale


Apor Vilmos tér in Budapest’s District 12 has been a center of retail trade for many decades. The Hegyvidék Center revitalizes this traditional function in a form that meets the most exacting demands, and is environmentally friendly. The many special features of Hungary’s first “green” shopping center include the fact that it is the first place in the country where electric vehicles can be charged while their owners are shopping, while the centre makes use of rainwater and even recycles – after purification – its tap water. The building is topped with an almost 1,000 sqm green roof, which plays a role both in air purification and in the building’s heat management. Bicycle storage facility serves to promote environmentally friendly transport.
When designing the building, the objective was to create a family-oriented shopping center on a human scale. The interior, which combines a homely atmosphere with classy elegance, has straightforward layout and is easy to get around. A special interior feature is the contemporary artistic creation, the world’s largest lenticular artwork, running vertically for almost the full height of the building: a picture that shows different colors and dimensions to observers from every angle.
The information system has a unique feature: the face recognition system at the info desk is capable of automatically recommending items from the product ranges of the shops, based on the customer’s age and gender.
The center was the only new-build commercial property development carried out in 2012.

Completed: 2012 • Total area: 6,500 sqm • Developer: WING Zrt.