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Athens Shopping Malls Still Alive

Although Greeks appear to be turning away from once-popular commercial streets, putting money in Greece’s shopping malls still seems a relatively safe investment for local and foreign businesses. Recent figures illustrate that the impact of the economic meltdown on malls in this country has been softer than the market average.

Data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) show that February’s turnover index for apparel went down by 24.3 percent compared to January. Shopping malls, however, appeared to be in a better position, losing just 1.8 percent in the same period. Remarkably, although apparel lost 7.8 percent in sales volume, shopping malls managed to post a 0.6 percent rise.

The newest arrival, Smart Park near Spata in eastern Attica, has attracted a number of big brands. Some of these are said to envisage potential synergies with the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet operating in the same area.

Chains including Jumbo, Mama’s & Papa’s, Alouette, Hondos Center, Intersport, Calzedonia and Intimissimi have already booked a place in the new complex. H&M plans to open a new 1,900-square meter store there on June 23. The Swedish clothing giant recently expanded its outlet at the Avenue Shopping Center in Maroussi. Mouyer children’s shoes and Belgium-based child-and-baby-wear store Premaman have also set up shop in Avenue, raising the center’s capacity to 96 percent.

In addition, the Lemonis group recently opened a Haralas shoe store in the Golden Hall shopping mall, also in Maroussi, while Greek fashion accessories manufacturer and retailer Folli Follie opened a new G-Star Raw store in The Mall Athens.

The same commercial complex hosts one of the two Luna underwear and swimwear stores. Luna, which is a Greek company, has a network of 1,200 outlets in Italy and 200 in Germany. It is also interested in making headway in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Italy-based fashion retailer Benetton recently entered the Athens Heart shopping mall in Tavros, southern Athens. Golden Hall and Thessaloniki’s Mediterranean Cosmos now host the exclusive stores of La Martina and Nautica respectively. US apparel brand Nautica has recently been relaunched in the Greek market by the Notos Com group.

Interestingly, Notos Com’s Notos Home has launched a partnership with Neoset, Fokas and Cocomat in a bid to woo customers.

Author: Mary Lembessi
Thursday, June 28, 2012