It is well known that with the growing digitalization and the continuous development of technology, stores are increasingly turning to online operation. Searching for a product, looking at the different options, analyzing their similarities and differences, choosing the desired item and ordering it with just one click is a method chosen by many customers.
The Local Data Company informed that, during the last year, there was a 21% increase in physical stores closures, equivalent to a loss of more than 7000 stores. In many countries, high percentages of vacant retail space were recorded. If we analyze different data collected from various sources, we can conclude that the available places are higher outside the retail core and that, on the contrary, within towns and city centers the vacancy rate is rarely uniform. In other words, there is a more limited occupation at the periphery.
Another important piece of information about the current situation in the CRE industry is related to the length of time that retail places remain vacant. In most malls, even the most successful ones, there are vacant units that have been empty for more than 2 years. However, every cloud has a silver lining. More than anything, this indicates the urgent need for companies and brands to reinvent themselves, adapt to new consumption trends and transform their spaces so they meet customers’ new needs and expectations.
In spite of the COVID-19, most customers continue to show their interest in visiting physical stores, as long as they offer innovative and original experiences. After going through more than a year of restrictions and confinement, there is no doubt that they expect physical stores to offer experiences that involve all the senses and make them feel closer to their favorite products and brands.
The demand for new retail concepts is evident. The commercial real estate industry needs to fit evolved consumer preferences and put their expectations at the center of every idea, project, and marketing strategy. In this way, consumers will be able to find exactly what they need: a place that offers them an unforgettable experience in which they are the main character while, at the same time, they continue to enjoy the products and services of their liking.