There is optimism for a brighter future ahead in the retail real estate industry. Innovation will continue to be a core theme in 2021 for stores and shopping centers. According to a survey from ICSC, 60% of CRE leaders and 55% of retailers expect to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. This is yet another testament to the true resilience of consumers and retailers, with their clear desires to visit brick-and-mortar stores.
The pandemic spurred a total reinvention among retailers in the industry. In a matter of months, there was years’ worth of transformations. If the pandemic didn’t happen, retail would not be where it is today, one step closer to the stores of the future.
“For retail and retail real estate, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t spurred a total reinvention, but a rapid acceleration of trends that were already taking shape. Stores were already offering curbside pickup, ramping up click-and-collect and rethinking store formats. What we’ve seen since March is a remarkable expansion of that, which will create a better experience for consumers as they return to stores and shopping centers. Retail is one of the most resilient industries, and this continued adaptation is indicative of that ingenuity,” said Tom McGee, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICSC.
Over two-thirds of retailers have offered in-store fulfillment of online orders in response to the pandemic. CRE leaders said that 88% of shopping centers are being used to fulfill online orders, with nearly all respondents noting their stores fulfilled online orders at some point.
Stores have adopted these changes, which has become vital to stay afloat. However, this didn’t stop industry leaders from wanting to invest in in-store sales, with 73% noting that physical sales were a priority.
The outlook for 2021 remains positive among industry leaders, with hope that transformations will continue post-pandemic. Stores and shopping centers are vital to the community and drive a sense of human connection. Both industry leaders and consumers are eager to return to brick-and-mortar shopping as soon as restrictions lift.
“Retail has proven itself to be integral to our economy, its recovery and our communities. The investments made by retailers and CRE companies to prioritize safety have been definitive markers of successful adaptation during the pandemic, and the work they’ve done to enhance their omnichannel strategies better positions our industry to withstand future disruption,” McGee said.
As a leader in the CRE industry, SREG remains optimistic for the industry as it continues to transform. With overcoming one of the most challenging years of our lifetime, retail has proven its strength. Brick and mortar continues to expand, and there’s continuous findings each day that point to the desire for the physical elements of retail to return to normal.
Across our own portfolio, we have seen success in the mall landscape. We have completed a variety of deals this year to diversify our tenant mix. We understand the importance of creating spaces that ignite community and connections, and this will only strengthen as we enter a new era post-pandemic.
Source: Retailers and CRE Companies Optimistic – BusinessWire
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ICSC is the preeminent membership organization serving retail and real estate professionals. Our members believe ICSC’s unparalleled programs and services are the most efficient and effective way to develop relationships, facilitate transactions, share insights and shape public policy and perception. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.com.