Retail Real Estate – Where is it going?

It’s common knowledge that retail real estate has taken a hit since the rise of e-commerce. More and more consumers are choosing to purchase their goods and services online (with the exception of certain goods and services of course). Who’s to blame? With online shopping there is no more commuting to the mall, navigating through store traffic, and then finding out that the item you really wanted is sold out.

While this is great for consumers, it has left retail real estate in a bit of an awkward state – large retail centres are shutting down, retail brands are facing bankruptcy, and giants such as Amazon are controlling the retail game. Rather than dwelling on the misfortunes of retail real estate, we’ll speak about some positive news coming out of the retail real estate industry.

Despite popular opinion, retail real estate is not on its way to becoming defunct, rather we believe that its finding new ways to reinvigorate and repurpose itself in face of the challenges posed by e-commerce. The following are some examples to prove our point.

Developers such as Rio Can, known for their investments in retail real estate, are shifting their efforts to residential buildings, in which they are strategically incorporating retail spaces. These strategically positioned retail spaces face less competition, are in convenient access to building residents, and are located in busy intersections and community hubs and as such, generating non-resident traffic. This is a move away from the retail clusters that are shopping malls and plazas.

On another note, certain retailers are implementing an “omni-channel” approach to retail, whereby the physical shopping experience is ‘integrated or transitional’ to the online shopping experience. A perfect example to explain this is the “no-register” Amazon stores which allow you to simply walk out with the goods you intend on purchasing without actually checking out at a register. This is made possible by technologies which identify and bill your Amazon account which is logged into the smartphone in your pocket. 

Vans on the other hand has begun implementing a virtual reality system that allows customers to try on shoes without actually physically trying them on – all thanks to virtual reality. As is Vans, many retailers are offering virtual reality to its customers to experience their products in ways that cannot be replicated online.

The above are a select few of the creative ways in which stakeholders are bringing the coolness back to physical retail spaces. We predict that never again will retail spaces be used in their traditional sense. Retail spaces are developing a new meaning and a new purpose to serve consumers and that’s pretty exciting when you think about “no-registers” or virtual reality shoes.

If you are already invested or are considering investing in retail real estate, well then subscribe to our mailing list at Falcon Law Professional Corporation. Here, you’ll find valuable information and legal tips and tricks on everything retail real estate. Keep it locked and we’ll be writing to you soon.

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