The retail segment was arguably one of the worst hit among real estate markets, considering the lockdown during the emergency state, but now consumption is already above pre-crisis highs, though in a different structure. All retail players that have online sales expect that this channel will generate a higher percentage of turnover in 2020 compared to 2019, a quarter of respondents estimating increases of even over 50%, according to a survey conducted by Colliers International’s Retail Division among more than 40 tenants and landlords from the retail sector in Romania.
For the vast majority of respondents (85%), footfall in stores has been lower in the third quarter than compared to the same period of 2019, with quite a lot reporting even more than 40% lower clients entering shops in recent months. This looks to be more or less in line with other metrics, like Google’s Community Mobility Indicators, which showed traffic in retail and recreation areas to be, on average, at least 20% below the trend in September. Nevertheless, 15% of respondents, mainly coming from food, discount or home decoration segments saw footfall increasing a bit or remaining constant year-on-year.
”The dynamic of online sales is quite impressive: at least one in four companies with online presence expect an increase of at least 50% of the sales through this channel. In general, fashion retailers are among those most likely to expect sharp increases in online sales, but this is not to say that other sectors are lagging. Further, diversity will likely be the new game in town, as retailers/landlords may spread their interest towards proximity-based schemes or retail parks and, to some extent, high street destinations. Overall, the next few years will certainly look interesting and most probably we will see new shop concepts and/or new way of operating after adapting to the new reality”, says Simina Niculiță, Partner & Head of Retail Agency at Colliers International.