As well as being the two countries with the highest retail turnover from shopping centers, the UK and France also lead the ranking for the largest number of shopping centers, with 1,522 and 1,253 centers, respectively. This is followed by Italy, with 860 shopping centers. When looking at the density of shopping centers in Western Europe, however, Nordic and Benelux countries rank much higher. In Norway, for example, there approximately 857 square meters of shopping center space per 1,000 members of the population, compared to 286 square meters per 1,000 residents in France. In Central and Eastern Europe, Estonia has the highest shopping center density, almost equaling that of Norway, with 725 square meters per 1,000 population, followed by Slovenia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Five of the top ten shopping centers in Europe based on size are located in Russia, with the largest of which being Avia Park and Mega Belaya Dacha, both in the Moscow area. These centers had gross leasable areas of 230 square meters and 214 square meters, respectively, as of 2015. Despite already having some of Europe’s largest shopping centers, Russia is also among the leading countries for shopping center expansion, adding 154 square meters of new shopping center space in the second half of 2017. Ahead of Russia, Turkey and Poland rank in first and second place for shopping center development, with Turkey extending shopping center space by 495 square meters in the same period and Poland by a total of 249 square meters.
Many of Europe’s most popular shopping centers are owned by a few key real estate companies. ECE is one of the most successful, operating 195 centers across Europe, including 143 in Germany, 12 in Turkey, nine in Poland and six in both Spain and Austria. In the UK, Land Securities, Intu and Westfield also own many of the country’s leading shopping centers, with 16, 13 and two centers, respectively.