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RESEARCH


Multi-channel formats will be a key driver of success for retailers in all areas of Europe over the next few years, predicts David Hutchings


CHANNELS OF GROWTH PRIME SHOPS: RENTAL GROWTH IN THE YEAR TO MARCH


DENMARK AUSTRIA LUXEMBOURG TURKEY NORWAY LATVIA ESTONIA RUSSIA LITHUANIA FRANCE


SLOVAKIA SERBIA


UKRAINE FINLAND


SLOVENIA BULGARIA POLAND


ROMANIA IRELAND


% -15 -10


hit consumers’ desire to shop. Worse, jitters over economic difficulties in the eurozone and local job markets affected their willingness to spend at all. Of course, bad weather in March and


T 46


an inconclusive Italian election hardly count as major surprises and, according to a survey of Cushman & Wakefield clients across Europe, the weak economy is still the most significant threat facing retailers. This is just as true in northern Europe as in the troubled southern and eastern areas.


Summer 2013 www.estatesgazette.com -5


he European retail market had a mixed start to 2013 with sales volumes rising in January but stagnating again in February and March as a mix of bad weather and inflation


GREECE 0 5 10 Interestingly, however, retailer-specific


factors are also a problem, with store portfolio issues, such as the wrong type or location of shops, rated the second most significant threat overall, and the most significant in three of the 15 countries surveyed. Increased costs caused by wage and


rent indexation and rising competition are also notable threats, ranking fifth and sixth in our survey. Perhaps surprisingly given the current


hype, online retailing is ranked as only the fourth most serious threat, and it is clear that to some retailers the internet is regarded as an opportunity to grow their business. Online sales are also growing rapidly,


with market share up from 4.2% to 4.7% last year in Western Europe, according to Euromonitor.


15 20 Source: Cushman & Wakefield Nonetheless, while online is a growth


opportunity for retailing as a whole, some individual retailers do regard it as a threat, and there will be losers as well as winners as the market adapts and innovates. The increasing pace of change in


internet-friendly new technology, such as the growth in 4G mobile, coupled with rising consumer demand for more personalised services, suggest that multi-channel formats will be a key driver of success in all areas of Europe over the next few years. Our survey underlines the local nature


of retailing, with little uniformity over the factors considered to be the most threatening. However, there are two recurring themes in most markets: the need for retailers to experiment, and the problems they experience dealing with short timescales – not just with the


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