A shop window with wedding dresses - the analogue shopping experience may not yet be replaced by online purchases here.
The Corona pandemic and digital changes are causing headaches for tenants and landlords of retail properties. What measures can be taken to regain the upper hand? The topics of restructuring and repositioning are undoubtedly on the agenda for the next few years.
Property owners as well as project developers have to deal more intensively with the conversion of existing buildings, the optimisation of the space mix or the expansion to include non-retail uses. This applies equally to shopping centres, specialist stores and commercial buildings. Almost all owners are currently focusing on repositioning. Here bulwiengesa supports with its many years of cross-segment expertise with space concepts that take into account not only retail but also all types of use from office, micro-living, hotel, etc. Third-party uses can be identified for specific locations.
Shopping centres become mixed-use centres
Shopping centres are transforming into retail and service hubs, with a mix of retail-related offers and uses from the residential, hotel and office sectors extending far into the upper floor locations. The shopping centre is on its way to becoming a mixed-use centre. All owners are focusing on due diligence activities, potential analyses and, above all, repositioning.
Retail parks no longer mere "sales machines"
Retail parks are repositioning themselves and continuing their trading-up process. Formerly trimmed for shopping efficiency, "sales machines" are discovering the expansion of the product mix, supplementation and differentiation of the gastronomy offer, creation of quality of stay and development of a brand name ("branding") with committed centre management. Most of them are sticking to the USP that customers appreciate and have learned: full-range grocery stores or large food areas as anchor tenants are supplemented by other providers of goods for daily needs such as drugstores, organic markets or food discounters as well as free or low-cost parking with a large number of mostly ground-level parking spaces.
Business houses restructure
Commercial buildings concentrate their retail space on the well-frequented ground floors. This creates space to accommodate different new uses on the upper floors.
Starting signal for transformation
The need for restructuring large-scale retail properties will increase significantly in the coming years. This is due to significant impulses (accelerated by Covid-19) such as the expansion of online retailing, the growing acceptance of new technologies - for example, new forms of payment, electronic shopping slips on smartphones, digital loyalty cards, shop navigation - or more omnichannel solutions.
There is also a noticeable shift towards and examination of large areas: The aforementioned conversion of existing buildings, optimisation of the space and shop mix, expansion to include non-retail uses, integration of new services and strengthening of local supply and "neighbourhood competence" are just a few of the many aspects that both existing owners and project developers of retail properties must deal with more intensively. The starting signal for transformation has been given.
Contact person: Dr. Joseph Frechen, Head of Retail Division at bulwiengesa, frechen [at] bulwiengesa.de