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Newly Opened Malls Affect Trade Area Market In Bulgaria

Demand for store areas in the newly-opened malls in Sofia was increasing and many brands preferred them to the stores on major boulevards.

Maya Ivanova from Yavlena Real Estate said that brands were transferring their old stores to the malls or opening new ones in the trade centres.

Until recently stores on Vitosha Boulevard, Graf Ignatiev and Pirotska Streets were rarely freed, 24 Chassa newspaper reported. Now the demand had decreased, Ivanova said.

The main advantage of the new malls was the steady customer flow and lower rents. A square metre of trade area on any of the boulevards costs 60 to 80 euro a month, compared to less than 60 euro a month in the malls.

Address real estate agency said that the new malls would have no effect on the trade area market and that the decrease in interest towards the boulevard stores was only temporary.

In the meantime, the number of malls in Bulgaria increases. Varna, the largest town on the Black Sea coast, plans the opening of a mall in 2008. Investors like Equest Balkan Properties, the company behind Mall of Sofia, and General Electrics had already shown interest in sponsoring the 35 million euro project, 24 Chassa reported.

San Stefano Property Development plans the construction of another trade centre in Sofia. The centre will have over 40 stores, a restaurant, an underground parking lot and a rooftop garden. It was to be part of a luxurious living complex covering over 55 000 sq m, 24 Chassa said.