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Watch for a retail revolution

Foreign investors are finally starting to look into developing Western-style shopping centers in and around the Slovak capital, according to Adriana Litomerická, the director of the Bratislava-based agency T&C, 1. Národná Aukčná Spoločnosť.

Litomerická said her agency is likely to strike a deal within six months with one of several investors seeking plots of more than 10 hectares in Bratislava's outlying districts and suburbs. She said all of the investors are interested in the Petržalka district .

"For all of them, it would be their first development in Slovakia, but most of them have experience in neighboring countries," Litomerická said.

For now, Bratislava is the only city attracting significant foreign interest in retail development, but Litomerická believes other cities may follow. "If we are successful with a foreign partner in Bratislava, I am sure we will continue cooperation and move to other towns." As evidence, she said the Austrian home improvement outlet Baumax is now building in Košice and Prešov and seeking space in Banská Bystrica and Žilina.

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