The combined size and maturity of the Nordic shopping center industry is maybe surprising to some. In fact, the first purposely built enclosed shopping center in the world is not to be found in the USA. It is instead Shopping that opened October 1955 in the small town of Luleå in the very north of Sweden. And the developments have continued ever since so the region has the highest shopping center density in Europe.
The Scandinavian Shopping Center Industry in Brief
The four countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden cover an area of 1.155.145 square kilometers. Total population amounts to 25,6 million people with an average PPS – Eurostat GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Standards – of 141 when EU average is 100. GDP growth forecast for the four countries in 2013 average 1,3%, whereas the Eurozone average is -0,4. Retail turnover growth for 2012 averaged 2,5% where EU average was -2,2%. The Scandinavians still spend around € 1800 per person a year in a shopping center alone. The area comprises of 768 centers with a minimum of 5000 square meters of GLA.
Shopping center definitions vary some in between the countries. Finland only counts enclosed centers and the anchor cannot be larger than maximum 50% of the total GLA. Office space and storage often included. Denmark and Norway often include common area in their GLA and Norway sometimes includes parking constructions. Sweden has a large number of retail parks or hybrid centers included in the numbers above, but no common areas, parking or offices. Shop-in-store department stores are included except for in Finland.
Real Estate owners and management companies
Many shopping center owners are pan-Nordic. Citycon Oyj, has 39 centers covering 700.000 m2 of GLA in FIN, SE & DK plus 90.000 m2 in EST, LIT. Steen & Strøm ASA has 30 centers covering 835.000 m2 GLA in DK, NO and SE, plus 272.400 in management in DK. Olav Thon has 21 centers in NO and SE covering 644.000 m2. Unibail-Rodamco has 9 centers covering 366.200 m2 in SE, FI, DK. Olav Thon is also part owner of Amfi Eiendom AS who has 26 fully owned and 4 part owned centers in Norway, plus 42 more in management. Sektor Eiendom has 32 centers in management whereof some 20 owned. Steen & Ström, KF Fastigheter, Atrium Ljungberg and Diligentia are the largest owners in Sweden. Danica and Dades are largest Danish owners. Citycon Oyj is the largest in Finland. Largest management companies are Amfi, Steen & Strøm, Sektor Eiendomsforvaltning, Newsec, and Aberdeen Property Investors.
The economic crises 2008-10 left Scandinavian retail fairly untouched, with only Denmark showing a real drop in 2009. For 2010 all four countries had a positive growth and average for 2012 was +2,5%. Finland, however, seems to have come to a halt after a strong start 2013. Sweden and Norway have about 1,5% growth so far and Denmark again in the red. Retail sales in shopping centers have a slightly stronger growth than retail as a whole. Much of the stores in the centers belong to strong Scandinavian chains working all four countries. Multinational brands from Scandinavia are of course H&M and IKEA, but also Acne, Filippa K, Gina Tricot, Hope, Indiska, KappAhl, J. Lindeberg, Lindex, MQ, Nudie Jeans, Odd Molly, Wesc, Weekday and Monki (all fashion) plus Clas Ohlson (electronics, household etc) from Sweden. From Norway is Varner Group with brands like Dressman, Carlings, BikBok, Volt etc (fashion) plus Narvesen (multi retail). In Wear, Bestseller/Vero Moda, IC Companys and Red & Green (all fashion) are from Denmark and Asko (furniture), K-Rauta (DIY) and Marimekko (design & fashion) are from Finland.
Above facts and figures are from year 2012/2013