- April 1, 2022: Vol. 16, Number 4

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Perfectly positioned: A new golden age looms for future-proofed physical retail formats

by Tom Duncan

Retail has been at the epicentre of cyclical and structural change. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the sector was grappling with rapid ecommerce growth and changing consumer habits.

If you look closer, however, you can see that pockets of resilience do exist. Many occupiers have not only survived, but thrived over the last two years. With the pandemic becoming endemic, a golden age beckons for future-proofed physical retail formats, assets and locations. Informed investors who position their strategies accordingly can benefit from this revival.

The pandemic had an immediate and dramatic impact on physical retail. Nonessential retailers were forced to close, and High Street footfall col-lapsed (see graph on page 27). Ecommerce penetration rates increased significantly. Retail capital values fell markedly in most European countries. Even with restrictions easing, lingering virus concerns, social-distancing requirements and home-working mandates continue to depress footfal

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