The modern retail stock in Timisoara is well developed, registering one of the highest retail densities in the country (1,055 sqm per 1,000 inhabitants), reflecting investors’ and retailer’s trust in the long-term economic strength and resilience.
The investors’ focus on this city determines a dynamic land market. Data from local consultancy company Hitch & Mosher show that prices for permitted plots vary between 35-60 Euro/sqm for logistics developments, 113-350 Euro/sqm for retail developments and 155 up to 1,490 Euro/sqm for residential and mixed-use schemes.
The 265,000 sqm total stock consists of approximately two-thirds modern shopping centers and a third is reserved for commercial galleries and retail parks. The two dominant schemes are Iulius Town and Shopping City Timisoara, built by two of the most experienced retail developers (Iulius Group and Nepi Rockcastle, respectively).
The first modern mall was delivered by Iulius Group in 2005, as part of the integrated mixed-use development of Iulius Town, a 220 mil EUR investment. In addition to the office component, United Business Center, the scheme features a large exhibition & events center offering up to 2,250 seats for corporate set-ups and a fitness & wellness center managed by the country’s most experienced operator – World Class.
Iulius Mall, the first modern shopping center in the city benefited from an extension in 2019, reaching 102,000 sqm, making it the largest shopping area outside of Bucharest. It hosts the most representative retailers, such as Peek & Cloppenburg, iStyle (Apple partner), Calvin Klein Jeans, Inditex Group (Zara, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear), Guess, H&M, C&A. Cinema City operates a modern 12-room movie theatre.
Nepi Rockcastle inaugurated a 90 mil EUR new development at the end of 2015. More than 70,000 sq m GLA are occupied by Peek & Cloppenburg, Sephora, Levi’s, US Polo Assn, Inditex Group (Zara, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear), Reserved, Intersport, C&A, H&M, and other service, fashion, and food & beverages operators, as well as a Cinema City. In addition, the scheme is completed by a 10,000 sq m Carrefour supermarket and a 16,000 sqm Dedeman DYI that provide a complete shopping destination.
IKEA is one of the most prominent retailers that expressed trust in Timisoara by opening earlier this year its third store in Romania, the first outside the capital city. The 60 mil EUR investment covering more than 26,000 sqm is a BREEAM-certified big-box. The store serves both Timisoara and the wider West region – the most dynamic outside Bucharest-Ilfov.
Smaller commercial galleries address a wide pallet of the city’s shopping needs. From legacy (Bega Shopping Center department store) to newly built (Sud Plaza) cost-efficiency retailers serve the needs of a wide spectrum of budgets and price-quality ratios. Scallier, through its FunShop brand, serves the city through two 11,000 sqm units, out of which one took over from Prima Shops. Both units are anchored by discounters (Kaufland, Penny, and Lidl).
While the relatively high retail density doesn’t make new developments likely for the foreseeable future, it is important to note that the existing retail schemes not only serve Timisoara Timis and neighbouring counties. Hungarians and Serbs often cross the border to find items and retailers which are not present in their area. Therefore, the real catchment area is larger than the official 320,000; thus, the real retail density is more sustainable and in line with other regional poles.