New Mallification Wave to Hit Sofia in Autumn 2014
The process of mallification continues in the western and southern districts of Bulgaria's capital Sofia with three new enormous shopping malls due to open this autumn.
The three schemes under construction – Plaza West, Mega Mall and Sofia Ring Mall – will bring the process of mallification to its final, mature stage, according to experts from Colliers realtor.
No more shopping centers are in the pipeline.
The opening of furniture giant IKEA, which took place in September 2011, stimulated the competition in this segment, being a major determining factor for the price and product policy of many operators on the market.
While malls and shopping developments continue to be clustered in Sofia, the mallification ambitions of other big cities have been hit hard by the raging economic slowdown and shrinking demand.
The only exception is the northern town of Pleven, where Panorama Mall is to welcome its first customers in April.
The country ranked first in the European Union in the number of new shopping malls in the first half of the 2010, but now the number of malls is on the slide.
Some of the announced and planned projects have been delayed, while others may never make it off the drawing board.
The Danube town of Ruse, northern Bulgaria, is an example of developments on the retail market and the construction of malls in particular across Bulgaria.
Out of the seven separate new shopping malls initially planned, five got were under construction, but only three opened their doors to clients. Royal City Center, Mall Ruse and Mega Mall Ruse are still operating, but do not enjoy high occupancy rates.
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While in my town (which is supposed to be a tourist and cultural area) the shops in the mall are closing because of high rents and people having no money to spend in the shops anyway. Almost half the shops are now closed or in the process of closing so I wonder how long it will be before the mall closes completely
OMG - we're slipping in the Mall League! How can we ever again be taken seriously in the UN and Brussels if this is all we can offer the world? Time that the Macedonkey flag flew over Sofia to allow us to regain our self-respect in the corridors of power...... ;)