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H&M to Make a Difference in Georgia’s Retail Market

Friday, November 18
H&M, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers famous for offering fashion-forward apparel at affordable prices in a sustainable way, will open a store inGalleria Tbilisi mall in 2017, according to an agreement signed between Georgian Co-Investment Fund’s (GCF) subsidiary Tbilisi Plaza LLC and H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB).

“The arrival of H&M in Georgia has been long awaited. In a Tbilisi consumer survey from 2013, H&M was most mentioned among desired retailers and combined with its reputation as a footfall driver in malls and highstreets around the world, there can be little doubt about its success in Georgia,” Martijn Kanters – Urban Development & Real Estate Strategy Consultant, told Property Georgia. According to him, with limited competition in its segment, H&M’s impact on Tbilisi’s retail market structure and hierarchy will be considerable as existing malls and highstreets that will not manage to attract H&M will likely suffer. Another reason for concern, as Martijn says is increased traffic congestion on Freedom Square: “It can be expected however, that H&M will open multiple outlets to serve other catchment areas and reach an optimal coverage of the market.”

Galleria Tbilisi is one of Georgian Co-Investment Fund’s (“GCF”) ongoing investment projects in hospitality and real estate sector, with a total investment size of US$80 M. The main construction works are underway and the grand opening of the mall is scheduled for September 2017.

H&M is the first retailer with which the agreement was reached. In order to make Galleria Tbilisi the most attractive shopping destination for the visitors, GCF and Tbilisi Plaza LLC will continue working on attracting more new retailers to Georgian market, offering them an opportunity to establish presence in one of the city’s most exclusive shopping districts. With this aim, Galleria Tbilisi will be presented at the world’s most prestigious international retail property annual exhibition MAPIC 2016 in Cannes for the second consecutive year.

“H&M’s arrival is a new milestone in the development of the retail market in Georgia and will spark the interest of other retailers, real estate developers and investors,” notes Kanters.

“With Georgian Co-Investment Fund assistance, the project that was off the table for many years saw the light of the day again. In 2017 our capital will have another outstanding architectural project-Galleria Tbilsi will attract lots of tourist as it will be the center for shopping and entertainment,”declares George Bachiashvili, CEO of Georgian Co-Investment Fund. “I believe, H&M will be followed by lots of other good news” he says.

About Galleria Tbilisi:

The Galleria Tbilisi project envisages development of a modern, multifunctional shopping centre on Tbilisi’s prime high street, Rustaveli Avenue, in the heart of the capital city. Centrally located near the most important government and private institutions, museums and theaters, Galleria Tbilisi will be the best shopping location in Georgia. The shopping center is easily accessible for its visitors via number of public transportation and pedestrian access points. Its catchment area within 20 minutes’ drive is approximately 1,000,000 residents. The design of the project was created by leading Israeli architect firm, “Moshe Zur Architects”, which has completed a range of impressive architectural developments including shopping centers in Europe’s capital cities. With its blend of classic and contemporary styles and exceptional construction quality Galleria Tbilisi will become a new landmark of the city. (