Colliers surveyed around 150 retailers in Romania with large commercial networks.

“As expected there is a close battle for the top shopping center in terms of sales performance between Bucharest Mall and Unirea Shopping Center. Regardless of the retail segment, most retailers are placing the two shopping centers very close to one another”, Colliers said in the report.

On third is Baneasa Shopping City. Although it is a relatively new shopping center, Baneasa managed to position itself very well for the upper-middle and higher-income segments of the population. “This is demonstrated by the type of retailers that saw it as a top performer, which were mostly high-end fashion and accessories/jewelry”, Colliers said.

The fourth and fifth spots are shared very closely by Plaza Romania, developed by Anchor Group and the newcomer AFI Palace Cotroceni, developed by AFI Europe.

What cities do retailers prefer?

Constanta appears to be the city with the highest sales in shopping centers (over 40% respondents indicated a mall in Constanta as a top performer), followed by Timisoara and Cluj.

Iasi was also mentioned in the top 3 performers by only by 15% of the respondents and never in the first position.

In terms of sales, the dominant trend remains descendent with 60% of the retailers in Bucharest and 55% of those in the countryside noticing a shrinking of sales in December 2009 as compared to December 2008.

“The most predominant were the sales decreases of between 10% and 30% yoy. In terms of sales per square meter, the best performing stores in Bucharest have on average at least 40% higher sales than the best performing stores in the countryside”, according to Colliers report.

Colliers International is a global partnership between companies that provides real estate advisory services across 61 countries through 294 offices. In Central and Eastern Europe, Colliers International operates in Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro.