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The recovery that first began to emerge in the Ukrainian retail sector at the beginning of 2016 continued to be evident as the year progressed. Healthier consumer demand ensured quite solid growth of retail turnover (+6.3% y-o-y) in Kyiv over the course of the year. Following a positive trend in the capital, retail landscape in the regional cities improved as well. Retail turnover grew at 4.4% y-o-y nationwide during 2016 after a deep slump of -19.8% recorded in 2015.
In contrast to the previous year when development completions reached just 56,600 sq m in Ukraine, new supply surged to 256,000 sq m in 2016. While the only small-scale community SC New Way (17,000 sq m GLA)) was delivered in H1, 90% of new space entered the market during the last three months of the year in the landmark reconstruction of TSUM (Central Department Store) and the super-regional shopping center Lavina Mall (127,500 sq m GLA). The latter became the largest shopping mall on the market. Development completions in Kyiv amounted to 168,000 sq m in three shopping centers, while total regional new supply was recorded at ca. 88,000 sq m (0% y-o-y) in four retail schemes, with 38% of that volume delivered in tier-2 cities with the population of approximately 250 thnd ppl. 
Retailers’ demand confirmed the trend of the first six months of the year: stronger retailers reconsidered their cautious approach to expansion by opening new shops on the back of visible improvements in trading performance. The number of new names on the market increased to 25 in 2016 vs. 12 in 2015. In particular, after several years of halted expansion in Ukraine, Inditex Group launched its new fashion&accessories brand Uterqüe in Kyiv. Italian retailer Calzedonia Group with already established presence in two brands (Calzedonia and Intimissimi) opened its first store of lingerie brand Tezenis etc. Although regional consumer demand remains more prone to economic fluctuations due to lower disposable income, retailer demand posted positive dynamics in line with general market trends. Major nationwide retail chains and international retailers shifted their interest to the western and central regions of the country. Occupiers with established presence on the market were mostly focused on existing stores, with few openings taking place in most successful regional schemes. Amongst most active players expanding their regional presence was Turkish operator LC Waikiki opening 6 new stores in Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhya and Chernihiv. Danish home furnishing retailer JYSK Holding opened three regional stores with the area of 800 – 1,200 sq m in Bila Tserkva, Ternopil and Lviv. Health&Beauty retailers renewed regional expansion in 2016, with Brocard Ukraine opening two Brocard stores in Odesa and Kropyvnytskyi, while Bomond entered Lviv and Dnipro markets. Make-up brands started to explore new cities, including the opening of first stores of American make-up brand M.A.C. in Odesa and NYX in Kharkiv. Given a low penetration rate of chain retailers in regional cities, there are significant opportunities for retailers to develop their coverage in large cities with the population of over 1 million people, as well as within second-tier cities (with the population in excess of 300,000+).

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New Arrivals

Ukraine is home to around 43 million people, making it one of the largest countries in the region. A lack of competition and large consumer market with widespread brand awareness and the tendency to make purchases for the sake of prestige made Ukraine an attractive proposition for retailers. Although Ukraine faced an unprecedented combination of economic crisis aggravated by geopolitical tensions during the last two years, the chances of a significant positive shift in the country prospects are more credible than ever before. Retailer activity in terms of expansion and market entry renewed gradually on the back of stabilization of the socio-political situation and strengthening of consumer demand.   


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