The Ukrainian Council of Shopping Centres (UCSC), a member of the European Council of Shopping Places (ECSP), has reported that the war in the country cost the retail and retail property sectors some $9.9 bn (€9.7 bn) in the first half of the year.
According to the research, this could increase to $13 bn by the end of the year due to both the physical damaage caused to the real estate and the impact on local communities.
Maksym Gavryushyn, head of the UCSC, said: 'Despite the terrible conditions, people still need to go and buy the things they need and want, and our economy still needs to continue to function.
'When shopping places have either been destroyed or damaged, the consequences on local communities have been dramatic. People have unfortunately been killed and injured and whole neighbourhoods have lost access to some of their most important goods and services, such as foods, medicines, and clothing.'
The report also believes that up to 45% of retail spaces in the Eastern regions may have been damaged. From the beginning of November 2022, 29 shopping centres across Ukraine have suffered significant damage. The largest percentage is in the East where 14 centres were impacted costing an estimated $290 mln, followed by Kyiv with 6 centres costing $68 mln and then the south with 7 centres costing $32 mln.
The most affected shopping centres are Port City (Mariupol), Nikolsky and Karavan (Kharkiv), Retroville (Kyiv), and Fabrika (Kherson).
Peter Wilhelm, Chairman of ECSP, added: 'Unfortunately shopping centres are not immune from the realities on the ground. It is important we recognise how the war is impacting different industries and the people who work and rely on them.
'Shopping centres play an important part in serving their communities in the good times and the bad times. We stand in support of our Ukrainian colleagues as they manage the current situation, prepare for a difficult winter, and ultimately look towards a better future.'
Despite the challenges, the retail property sector is proving to be as resilient as ever with 241 shopping centres out of 326 (or 76%) across the country reopening.
According to the UCSC’s Retail Wellbeing Index (RWBI), the market is recovering and is currently operating at is 70% capacity. Some significantly damaged shopping centers that have partially or fully resumed operations, include Lavina Mall and Retroville (Kyiv), Nikolsky and Dafi (Kharkiv), and others.