When workers and consumers make their post-Covid return to work and their favourite physical shops it is likely there will still be less demand for retail and commercial space, predicts Meyer Bergman research head Herman Kok.
An unintended consequence of recent lockdowns has been that occupiers – be they residents, retailers and other types of employer – are now questioning how much space they really need and where.
Space will need to be repurposed, Kok suggests, writing in the latest edition of Living Retail, published this month by Real Asset Media.
But he points out that there is nothing new in this. Cities are, after all, full of buildings serving purposes for which they were not originally developed.
‘For retail and commercial landlords, the race is on how to best future-proof their assets,’ Kok says.
Mixed-use conversions could be the answer and is a strategy whose benefits Meyer Bergman recognised before the pandemic, notably in Milan and Oslo.
A mix of uses provides diversified income streams which, ‘helps match liabilities while also spreading risk,” he said.
You can read more retail market analysis and views in Living Retail.