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70% of Romanians prefer large shopping centres over any other type of retail format

7 out of 10 Romanians prefer a large, covered shopping centre, whereas smaller centers are chosen by 27% of consumers; high-Street shopping is an option for just 2% of consumers. On the contrary, 1 in 5 Europeans will choose a high-street over other types of retail formats. These findings are revealed in the newest CBRE report – “How Consumers Shop – Romania” edition.

The new report surveyed 21,000 consumers in 21 countries* to discover where and how they shop. Romania was included in the group with a total sample of over 1,000 customers, from all geographical regions and age groups.

The biggest difference in consumption behaviour for Romanians comes from their perception of entertainment, thus we appreciate to a larger extent the entertainment facilities and the presence of a hypermarket / supermarket within the retail centre of choice. As Romanians recognize the positive change happened within the centres in the past years, further investments in facilities are vital to keep market share within a highly competitive market.

Cleanliness, price and security top the list of factors that consumers expect to have within their shopping destination of choice. These are viewed as extremely important during the decision of where to go when buying non-food items. This is valid not just for Romania, but for all countries included in the survey, for all kinds of shopping centre, for all age groups and substantiates the findings of our previous 2013 survey.

The report also reveals three distinct clusters of countries by geography that broadly share shopping characteristics –‘Shopping Centre Socialites’ (Turkey, Spain, Romania, Italy, Ireland); ‘Utilitarian Consumers’ (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Czech Republic); and ‘European Mainstream’ (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland). Clients from Romania, compared both with country cluster and with European averages, put a higher importance over the presence of a hypermarket / supermarket within their destination of choice, as well as for entertainment facilities and hosting of events within the centre (like fashion shows, movie launches, kids events).

Convenient access remains a critical factor for consumers when choosing where to shop, but Romanians, compared to Europeans, are willing to travel for a longer period of time to get to their preferred shopping centres. More than 55% of us are willing to travel for more than 16 minutes to get to their most often visited non-food shopping centre. Surprisingly, customers with a lower income are even more inclined to travel for a longer period of time versus those with a higher income.

When it comes to Romanians the preference for large, covered shopping centres it is overwhelming – 7 in 10 visit most often such destinations. This is well above European average of 1 in 2 consumers or 47%. Relatively similar with Europeans, smaller centres, with fewer than 50 shops, are chosen by around 27% of customers.

High-street is virtually non-existing for Romanians – just 2% select this is as their most often non-food shopping location. On the contrary, on average 1 in 5 Europeans will chose this type. Romanians view to a larger extent the high-street area as a destination for having an extensive range of catering facilities, including good quality restaurants. This is in contrast with European customers, for which High Streets will be chosen for their range of retailers, particularly fashion shops and independents.

55% of Romanian consumers report that their shopping centre has improved over the past three years versus 40% of Europeans. 1 in 2 reported that the centre they visited most often had seen either a renovation and/or an increase in the size of the centre. 1 in 4 has seen the addition of either international brands or more entertainment facilities.

While all shoppers are getting more used to juggle between a range of channels in the research and buying process, still almost 9 in 10 Romanians will go to a shop for buying non-food products. A greater change has happened when doing research – now 76% of consumers report going online for checking prices and product details.

Greatest surprise comes from the use of mail order and / or catalogues, with Romanians above the European use of such methods. Most importantly, looking at the future, 66% of the consumers say they will use more often an online tool in order to do buying, with 40% saying that they will reduce the use of catalogue / mail order in the future. While online usage (in all formats – desktop, tablet, smartphone) for research or shopping will only grow it will benefit directly from the decrease in attractiveness of catalogue usage.

Request a copy of full report by email at: laura.bencze@cbre.com

Published on: 01 07 2014

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