11 March, 2020

Retail has been one of the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, with weaker consumption sentiment, shortened operating periods and a regional tourism slowdown already costing the industry a huge amount of lost revenue.

In Greater China, spending has fallen significantly and thousands of retail stores and malls have temporarily closed or significantly reduced their trading hours. Elsewhere, the suspension of direct flights from Mainland China has led to a sharp decline in regional tourist arrivals, which has affected retailers and shopping centres in major markets.

However, it isn’t all bad news for retail. With consumers in many markets forced to shop online for essentials, omnichannel grocery retailers and F&B platforms have reported a surge in sales – a trend that could have long-term consequences for the retail industry.

This ViewPoint by CBRE Research discusses the steps retailers and landlords have already taken in response to the outbreak and identifies some potential longer-term measures – all of which could have a lasting impression on retail real estate.