Urban Outfitters, the iconic American lifestyle retail brand, is to open within a Central European country for the first time and has chosen Elektrownia Powiśle in the heart of Warsaw as the best place to be. The fashion brand already operates in 11 Western European countries and the newly-signed 860sq m (9,300sq ft) flagship store shows the commercial potential for international brands to expand into Poland. Urban Outfitters is known for both its extensive offer across womenswear, menswear, homeware, lifestyle and gifting as well as its gender-neutral environments, eye-catching shop designs and memorable in-store atmosphere.
Emma Wisden, managing director of Urban Outfitters Europe, said: “Our ultimate goal, as a brand pioneering at the forefront of the global retail market, is to offer our customers a unique experience both in terms of our product and the environment we create to showcase it. For us, retail is experiential, personal and inclusive. The success of this lifestyle assortment of proprietary Women’s and Men’s apparel mixed with National cult brands, Vintage, Home and Beauty formula puts us in a position to buck current trends and expand our offer further across Europe and the world. Elektrownia Powiśle is an exciting project and Poland a thriving nation which, we feel, will work well with and enjoy the experience we can create.”
Located in Warsaw city centre in one of the most popular and fashionable districts, Elektrownia Powiśle is a 54,000sq m (580,000sq ft) mixed-used lifestyle regeneration scheme. Centred around a former power station on the banks of the Vistula river, the core buildings were constructed in 1904 as the largest and one of the most innovative power plants in Europe at the time. The architecturally-appealing development owned by White Star Real Estate and a Tristan fund features the refurbishment of the power station site with much of the original character and many building features retained. This has resulted in an attractive scheme offering character, heritage and personality not present in many modern developments.
The development includes 18,000sq m (194,000sq ft) of retail, restaurants, bars and cafes with over 100 units and the first beauty hall in Poland with a wide range of beauty and skincare treatments, hairdressing and more, aimed at both men and women. The development also includes a Fresh Food Market, 22,000sq m (237,000sq ft) of Class A commercial office space, 90 residential apartments which have historical elements of the old power station integrated in the design and a 160-bed boutique hotel plus daily events throughout the year, including open festivals, concerts and movies.
Dariusz Domański, associate partner for development and leasing director at White Star Real Estate, said: “Warsaw is a prosperous and growing city with an international outlook and great retail opportunities. Elektrownia Powiśle benefits from a central city location, historic significance, cultural and tourist appeal, large student population and affluent residential neighbours. It is an ideal location for international brands, especially those that are not in Poland currently, as well as designers and interesting Polish retailers ensuring there is something to appeal to everyone.”
The Powiśle district of Warsaw is a very desirable part of the city with easy access into the area through its metro station, as well as tree-lined boulevards and green parks for exercise, relaxing and meeting friends. The area is close to the Royal Castle and Warsaw Old Town, plus Warsaw University, Copernicus Science Museum, Modern Art Museum and many other attractions. As a power station, Elektrownia Powiśle was important in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, maintaining power to hospitals and other core facilities during the fighting.
Matt Lunt, executive director at Tristan Capital Partners, said: “Poland provides great opportunities for retailers and restaurant owners that want to expand. With strong economic data, the investment opportunities are very attractive. This is why international brands like Urban Outfitters are looking at Poland with interest and Elektrownia Powiśle in particular. The scheme will attract affluent and young customers drawn by a spectrum of retail and dining brands.”
In addition to three million people living in the Warsaw metropolitan area, the city benefits from 9.6 million tourists and day-trippers who visit Warsaw each year and almost 240 thousand students. Also, over 120,000 workers are within 10 minutes of Elektrownia Powiśle. As a result, incomes in the area are above average compared with elsewhere in Warsaw, and the high student numbers means the potential customer profile is younger with 56 per cent aged between 25-44. With the core market of Urban Outfitters in the 20 and 30 year old age range, this profile emphasises the appeal for the retailer to open in Powiśle.
Of the foreign tourists, some 20 per cent are from Germany and a further 14 per cent from the UK. On average, foreign tourists spends more than three times that of a domestic tourist. Because of this, the dining choices at Elektrownia Powiśle will embrace diverse culinary experiences including high-end dining with 12 sit-down restaurants and a Food Hall with 16 restaurants and three bars to create an exciting day-out destination and evening attraction.
Additionally, there is low unemployment in the area of 2.6 per cent compared to 7.1 per cent in Poland as a whole. Put together, Pragma Consulting estimates that Elektrownia Powiśle will capture some €98 million of Non-Grocery spend annually. Poland has had over 70 quarters of economic growth with many people returning to their home country to benefit from the growing economy and improving lifestyle.
Elektrownia Powiśle was acquired by White Star Real Estate and European Property Investors Special Opportunities 4 (EPISO4), a fund advised by Tristan Capital Partners, in November 2015. Onsite redevelopment work begun in June 2016.
Leasing agents for Elektrownia Powiśle are JLL and Cushman & Wakefield in Warsaw and KLM Retail in London.