In this article, we take a look at the 11 biggest malls in Europe. You can skip our detailed analysis of the European mall industry and go directly to 5 Biggest Malls in Europe.
The European retail industry is valued at $3.6 trillion as of 2021 according to Statista. There are roughly 10,000 malls in Europe as of 2021, with the United Kingdom taking the biggest share with over 1,500 malls, per their report.
The European mall industry’s economic outlook is not very different from those of other regions when it comes to the mall's traditional purpose. Malls in general are declining in popularity, owing to factors like E-Commerce.
The online sales already make up 15% of total shopping in most of Europe. The average retail growth is around 4% while online sales grow by an average of a far higher 20%. In fact, the pandemic lockdowns accelerated the E-Commerce growth to 43% in 2020, adding massive amount of value to stocks like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT).
Moreover, the persistent inflation around the world and the central banks' rate hikes in response have put the mall industry on a slippery slope, as consumers cut back on spending. This has led European REITs to start adapting to a changing shopping landscape.
An Adapting Industry
One of the ways the industry is adapting is extended diversification, with European malls adding more and more experience and service-based incentives, like museums, art galleries, government offices and theme parks etc.
Florencio Beccar, the fund manager of CBRE Global Investors' European Shopping Center Fund, was quoted by NBC News at the purchase of a German mall that came with a medical facility. He said that purchasing malls with services like medical facilities and others is a major advantage to offset decline in physical retail.
In addition to that, many REITs are moving towards logistics, which is another way the European mall industry is trying to adapt and survive. According to CBRE research, every $1 billion addition in online sales requires an additional space of 1.3 million square feet in warehouses, raising the demand for fulfillment centers.
Insofar as Europe is concerned, a Prologis report showed that every additional 1 billion euros in online sales resulted in an average increase in warehouse demand of almost 72,000 square meters in Britain, Germany, and France, during the studied period of 2007-2012.
Logistics also has a cost advantage. Retail space costs around $20 per square foot while the same for logistics costs only $6.5. Its yield is also two percentage points higher on average than retail.
This has resulted in malls across the world in general and malls in Europe in particular, attempting to transition and rezone the spare retail spaces in their buildings for the logistics business.
Simon Hope, the global head of capital markets for the UK-based property consultant Savills, confirmed the trend with NBC News, saying, “logistics is the new retail.”
There are thousands of malls in Europe but some of the most prominent names in the industry are Mega Belaya Dacha in Russia, Westfield Centro in Germany, Bluewater in the UK and Istanbul Cevahir in Turkey.
As far as mall-owning REITs are concerned, Klépierre SA (OTCMKTS:KLPEF) is the biggest mall owner in Europe. It owns 155 malls across 16 European countries.
Now that we know the state of the mall industry in Europe, let’s move on to the 11 biggest malls in Europe.
For our list of the 11 biggest malls in Europe, we’d be ranking them based on their total area. We’ve gotten the data from the malls’ websites. We’d also be discussing factors like total retail space, number of retail stores and restaurants, as well as number of anchor tenants etc.
11. Puerto Venecia (Port Venice)
Location: Zaragoza, Spain.
Total Floor Area: 200,000 m²
Puerto Venecia is the biggest shopping mall in Spain. It is located in Zaragoza city. The mall has a total floor area of 200,000 square meters. It is divided into different segments. There’s a boulevard, a gallery, leisure and restaurant space and a lake.
The mall is home to over 150 retail stores and 45 restaurants. Prominent stores include NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), Apple Store by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Xiaomi Corporation (OTCMKTS:XIACY) tech store, Primark, H&M and ZARA. Notable among its featured restaurants is Taco Bell.
For leisure, the mall offers facilities like cinema, gaming center and lake boating. In 2013, it won the Mapic Award in the category of Best Retail and Leisure Development.
Port Venice has significantly expanded beyond retail ever since online shopping has taken to the skies in Spain as a result of global reach of companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT).
Location: Dartford, England.
Total Floor Area: 200,000 m²
Bluewater is one of the biggest malls in the UK, with a total floor area of 200,000 square meters. It is located in Stone, in the borough of Dartford, Kent. The mall offers a retail space of 155,000 square meters.
It has 330 retail stores and three anchor tenants, namely, Marks and Spencer Group plc (OTCMKTS:MAKSY), House of Fraser and John Lewis & Partners. It also features 40 restaurants and cafes like KFC by Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD). It serves roughly 27 million people annually.
9. Trafford Center
Location: Greater Manchester, England.
Total Floor Area: 207,000 m²
Trafford Center is another huge mall and entertainment complex in the UK. It is located in Dumplington, Trafford, Greater Manchester. The complex has a total floor area of 207,000 square meters, with a retail space of 185,000 square meters. It has 200 stores and six anchor tenants.
Trafford Center features many stores. Few prominent examples are stores from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and The Gap, Inc. (NYSE:GPS). Its restaurants and cafes include names like McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), KFC by Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX).
The mall also features many attractions like The Tinsel Town, Big Wheel and Ice Skating. There are also facilities that exclusively exist to make the experience convenient for families. For instance, the mall offers ‘fun buggies’ for children so parents can shop more easily.
8. MEGA Khimki
Location: Khimki, Russia.
Total Floor Area: 210,000 m²
MEGA Khimki, located in Khimki, Russia, is the Khimki branch of MEGA Family Shopping Centers. These are managed by IKEA Centers Russia. It has roughly 200 retail stores and features three anchor tenants, namely, Auchan, OBI and Leroy Merlin.
Other prominent brands include The Gap, Inc. (NYSE:GPS) and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX). However, after the Ukraine War, the majority of western brands have stopped doing business in Russia. MEGA also offers many experience-oriented facilities like Cinema and Sports centers.
7. Westgate Shopping City
Location: Jablanovec, Croatia.
Total Floor Area: 226,000 m²
Westgate Shopping City is the largest mall in Croatia and the seventh largest on the list of biggest malls in Europe. It has a floor area of 226,000 square meters, out of which, 100,000 square meters are allotted to retail stores. It has a family-oriented shopping and entertainment theme.
There are many facilities apart from retail and dining like inline skating, cinema and park. The notable brands that have opened stores in Westgate include TEDI, Pepco, H&M and New Yorker. Aside from shops and restaurants, Westgate features leisure and entertainment facilities like multi-screen cinemas.
6. Westfield London
Location: London, England.
Total Floor Area: 240,000 m²
Westfield London is the biggest mall in the UK and one of the biggest malls in Europe. It is the London chapter of Westfield malls, and is located in White City, London. It has a total floor area of 240,000 square meters. It is owned by Westfield Corporation. The mall features six anchor tenants and over 450 retail stores.
Some of its important stores belong to companies like NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), LEGO, and Adidas. Insofar as restaurants and cafes are concerned, some prominent brands providing service at the mall are Nando’s, Burger King and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX).
Westfield London also offers many leisure and entertainment attractions. One that stands out is The Upside Down House. Other attractions include a cinema, bars, bowling alley and a mini-golf course.
Many of the products available at the mall are usually also available at online shopping platforms like Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT).
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Disclosure: none. 11 Biggest Malls in Europe is originally published on Insider Monkey.