Adapting to the new economic situation: The rise in online sales and vacancy levels on the high street

In MORE Vision 4, we looked at the upcoming retail renaissance, which will involve cultivating consumerism in urban areas. While rising online sales have changed the market, new design strategies and targeted markets still allow for strong bricks and mortar retail development in urban areas—from the town centres of major Canadian metropolises to high streets in Europe.

Spanish real estate journalist Marta Reñones told us that retailers in Europe must adapt to new economic realities—including less financing for new projects, reduced buying power for families due to the rise in unemployment, and new consumer habits.

According to her, customers are increasingly more demanding and, as a result of the economic crisis, consumer habits have changed. New demographics, such as the urban-dwelling citysumers, want more than just a retail location—they want a unique experience.

We heard from Adrian Griffiths, CEO of leading architecture firm Chapman Taylor, about just how to create that unique experience.

Griffiths said that the property market has changed and retailers must embrace mixed-use spaces as a way to draw in more potential customers. As a master planner, Griffiths said getting consumers to return to city centres involves a customised approach in each city—and the ability to identify strong markets… such as the Great White North, where Canadian urban retail markets are going strong despite the global downturn.


Jim Murdoch, Executive Vice-President of Oberfeld Snowcap, told us things are looking decidedly optimistic in the Canadian retail market. In this exclusive interview, Murdoch detailed positive trends unfolding in Canada. The Canadian economy is very strong, and currently experiencing a relatively robust comeback after the economic crisis.

Analysts do not predict a double-dip recession in Canada, and as a result more and more retailers are seeing it as a huge opportunity for growth. Murdoch notes an influx of brands including Topshop, Burberry, and Victoria’s Secret setting up shop in cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, which is resulting in extremely low vacancy rates in shopping centres countrywide.

If Canada’s your centre of interest, check out our series of reports from the Great White North.

Watch this space for the next MORE Vision!

Every two months, MORE Vision by MAPIC will contribute to the retail real estate community’s knowledge base by exploring a key trend influencing retail property strategy today. Each issue of this multichannel and multi-tool service will include a presentation of a trend, with history, key figures and useful links. Questions raised will be opened up for debate on our social media platforms – the best comments and discussions will be summarised and published here on the MIPIMWorld blog.

MORE Vision 1 – Social shopping

MORE Vision 2 – Citysumers

More Vision 4 – Retail renaissance

View more presentations from MIPIMWorld

Join the debate on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Don’t miss out! Register now to be notified about the next publication. 

Looking for more information on the future of retail? Check out this report by Jones Lang LaSalle!

Image: coolinsights

About Author


Leave A Reply