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German public may be happier with high street than assumed

Research into the future of retail property in Germany undertaken on behalf of real estate bank Berlin Hyp has revealed a divergence of opinion between real estate experts and the purchasing preferences of consumers.

While 60% of experts surveyed believe that people will mainly shop either at online marketplaces (35%) and in online shops (25%) in future, 30% of experts said people will shop in brick-and-mortar shops and 10% think that click & collect is the preferred shopping model.

However, when 2,500 members of the public were interviewed just over half (50.8%) said they want to use retailers’ online services, including online marketplaces, but 65.5% of respondents want to purchase their goods mainly from bricks-and-mortar shops.

Food retail is ripe for change too but while 22% of experts believe that online supermarkets are becoming more popular the majority of public respondents said they want to buy their food in supermarkets and discounters in future, only 1.6% of those surveyed want to purchase food via online supermarkets.

Bricks-and-mortar likely to downsize say experts

Berlin Hyp’s latest Trendbarometer expert survey polled more than 200 real estate experts from Germany and abroad. For comparison, the general public was asked for its opinion via the survey tool Civey.

At least 60% of expert respondents also thought that bricks-and-mortar shops will downsize taking the view that wherever less turnover is achieved, retail space becomes less affordable and less necessary.

“As far as this is concerned, we should not generalise. We need to consider many different aspects and keep an eye on long-term developments”, says the chair of Berlin Hyp’s board of management Sascha Klaus.

“Inner-city shopping streets and shopping centres have borne the brunt of the effects of the pandemic. It is more obvious now that the model is under a great deal of pressure. However, it is not over yet for these concepts. People will still have a need for the traditional shopping experience, which lets them see, touch and ‘take home’ their purchases right away.”