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Malls In Bulgarias Capital Threaten Open Markets Existence

The construction of large retail areas and modern trade centres puts under question the existence of small shops in the residential areas of Sofia.

Shop owners are still optimistic and seem to be doing nothing to keep customers, whose number decreases with every newly opened mall, Capital weekly reported.

The shops' tenants are constantly changing but the owners still refuse to lower prices, a saleswoman in Sofia residential district Mladost said. The average rent for a small shop in Mladost is 20 euro per sq m while one can find a 'decent' ground floor shop in the centre for less than 15 euro per sq m.

The demand for ground floor stores increases in the centre and in the residential districts. Deals,however, are rarely completed as owners want 20 per cent higher rent than the traders are willing to pay, Address Real Estate regional director Svetoslava Georgieva said.

Customers now have higher requirements and refuse to buy low-quality goods even from the most attractive shops. Despite the boom of large trade centres, small shops will remain popular, Georgieva said.

The launch of malls in various districts of Sofia will however threaten the existence of small shops as the customers will probably prefer to purchase from the large trade centres, Georgieva said.