The portfolio in Croatia will increase by one location in the city of Ludbreg, which increases the total number of locations on the Croatian market to three. In Serbia and the Czech Republic, there is an expansion for as many as six locations, with about 43,000 square meters, purchased from Mitiska REIM, a Belgian investor specializing in commercial real estate. The new acquisitions are joined by a retail park of about 5,500 square meters in Voitsberg, Austria. The expected annual rental income from these recently acquired properties is approximately 5.7 million euros. With a gross return of 7.7 percent, the average return of acquired retail parks is above the average of the STOP SHOP portfolio, which stood at 7.4 percent in the third quarter of this year.
The STOP SHOP portfolio now covers 98 locations in nine countries with nearly 720,000 square feet of rental space and a book value of approximately one billion euros. Further acquisitions and internal development projects are currently being prepared.
“Our STOP SHOP retail parks are a cost-effective, high-yield and crisis-resistant retail format. High standardization allows us to offer our tenants attractive rents and operating costs. The next important factor is our concentration on affordable products that are very popular among consumers in difficult economic times. This concept also proved successful during the COVID-19 pandemic. We noticed a very rapid recovery in the number of visitors after the end of the first wave. Discounters especially benefit from increased customer awareness of prices, ”said Dietmar Reindl, CEO of IMMOFINANZ. "Our plans include a medium-term increase to 140 STOP SHOP locations, with the intention of focusing on markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe and Austria, and selective entry into other Western European countries."
Tomas Cifra, Investment Director for Central and Eastern Europe Mitiska REIM, comments: “We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction with IMMOFINANZ following our value creation program and that our retail parks have found a new stable home with a reputable strategic customer with a clear vision and a strong ambition for retail parks. "
IMMOFINANZ entered the Croatian market with its STOP SHOP brand at the end of 2018. Together with the new location, and the existing ones in Osijek and Valpovo, the company will have three STOP SHOPs with 16,400 square meters in Croatia, and future projects are in preparation.
The new retail park in Voitsberg increases the number of STOP SHOPS in Austria to 14, from about 67,000 square meters of rental space. Two retail parks in the Czech cities of Prague and Litvinov, with a total of 14,700 square meters, are expanding the STOP SHOP portfolio in this country to 12 locations, with almost 88,000 square meters of rental space.
New parks in Serbia will be located in Leskovac, Sabac, Sombor and Zajecar. The STOP SHOP portfolio in Serbia will now include a total of 14 retail parks, with approximately 121,000 square meters. Finalization is expected in the first quarter of 2021.
All new locations have an attractive combination of tenants offering a variety of affordable products that are particularly crisis-resistant. Among the largest tenants, which are also found in a number of other STOP SHOP parks, are Spar, dm, Deichmann, Intersport, Takko and KiK. What follows is a rebranding of the new buildings to reflect the STOP SHOP concept and they will soon appear in the brand’s typical yellow and anthracite colors.