Some of the Romanians (70%) prefer the big commercial centers, while 27% of them prefer the small ones, and the shopping on street shops represent an option for only 2% of the Romanians, according to the CBRE study “How Consumers Shop”, Romania edition. In comparison, 1 in 5 Europeans chooses the commercial street against other forms of retail. In the same study have been interviewed 21,000 consumers from 21 countries to find out where and how they shop. Romania was included in the study with a batch of over 1,000 consumers from all geographical areas and all age groups.
One of the substantial differences in the consumption manner of the Romanians derives from the perception of the entertainment areas, so the entertainment offer, and the presence of a hypermarket/ supermarket, has a larger weight in the decision of the Romanians of selecting a commercial center. The Romanians recognize the positive changes made in the commercial centers in the last few years, but the investments in services and facilities are vital for maintaining the market share in this highly competitive segment. The cleaning, price and safety are the most important factors for consumer in selecting a certain commercial center. These factors have a decisive role in selecting a shopping destination for acquisitions of non-food products. This is valid not only for Romania, but for all countries included in the study, for all types of commercial centers and for all categories of age, thus consolidating the conclusions of the previous study, from 2013.
The same study presents three distinct groups of countries (geographically grouped) that share some of the same shopping characteristics – “Modern commercial centers” (Turkey, Spain, Romania, Italy, Ireland), “Utilitarian consumers” (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic), and “Mainstream European” (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland). The clients from Romania, from the perspective of the group of countries and from the perspective of the European average, pay more attention when selecting a commercial center, to the presence of a hypermarket/ supermarket, but also to the entertainment offer and events organized in the center (fashion presentations, movies launches, events for children).
The easy access remains a critical factor for consumers when selecting a shopping place, but the Romanians, unlike the rest of Europeans, are willing to travel longer to get to the preferred commercial centers. Over 55% of the Romanians are willing to travel for more than 16 minutes to get to the non-food commercial centers visited most often. Surprisingly, the low-income clients seem more inclined to travel longer compared to high-income clients. When it comes to Romanians, the preference for large commercial centers is overwhelming – 7 out of 10 people choose such destinations, while the European average level is 1 in 2 consumers, or 47%. 27% of the Romanian consumers choose the smaller centers, with less than 50 stores, relatively similar to the rest of Europe. Only 2% of the Romanians prefer the high-street stores, while 1 in 5 Europeans choose such units.