“S-PARK” – New savings offensive with specialized shopping centers

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How SES, market leader in domestic shopping centers, is now also stimulating expansion with smaller retail formats.

In Austria, the Spar shopping subsidiary SES (Spar European Shopping Centers) is the market leader with 18 stores. The portfolio includes the Europark Salzburg, the Sillpark in Innsbruck, the Gerngross in Vienna and part of the SCS. A further twelve shopping centers are operated in Southeastern Europe, mainly in Slovenia. “We only have one to three locations in Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia, so there is growth potential,” says boss Christoph Andexlinger.

To expand, he is now focusing on a new business area: smaller retail parks under the brand “S-PARK”, in which retailers are positioned around a parking lot. Such retail agglomerates are easier to build and operate because there are no internal corridors, escalators or multiple floors, unlike shopping malls. “You have significantly lower running costs,” explains Andexlinger, adding, “You don’t have to heat or air-condition the mall, and the cleaning costs are less.”

Park, concerts, children’s playground
The first “S-PARK” opened in 2021 in Kaposvár, Hungary. Andexlinger: “We built a retail park in a concrete frame. But one that fits our concept, not a fast one. Normally people drive quickly to a retail park, shop quickly and leave quickly. But we want people to stay longer and feel comfortable. That’s why we built a park and a children’s playground. We organize concerts there, it has become a real meeting place in this district.”

Another “S-PARK” in Varaždin in Croatia is in the immediate implementation phase. Andexlinger’s goal: “In five to ten years’ time, the number of ‘S-PARKS’ should be in the double digits. The focus is on Hungary, Croatia and Italy, possibly also Slovenia – and Austria.”

So far, SES has only had the “Fachmarktzentrum Nussdorf – Debant” at Lienz. A rebrand is being considered.

Source: Krone

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