Nov 20, 2012
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CBRE Study: Germany and e-commerce preferred weapons in retailer strategies

Nov 20, 2012

Prodded by the MAPIC retail real estate trade fair in Cannes, every major international real estate firm releases their own study on sector trends. CBRE just published a study on development goals announced by retailers for their bricks and mortar stores in relation to e-commerce, revealing some interesting data this time around.

First off, this study, which focuses on one hundred major retailers in Europe and the Middle East, reports that 40% of are looking to expand their online geographical coverage next year. That same figure was only 28% last year! The trend is a clear indication of the attraction of multichannel distribution.

The study also showed that international retailers surveyed say they want to continue to expand their network of stores next year. One third of the retailers estimate opening between 11–30 stores in the Europe Middle East Africa region (EMEA). CBRE says that the findings reflect ambitious but realistic plans, especially because of the difficulty of finding prime space. Moreover, another 20% of those surveyed plan to open 30 or more stores in the EMEA region, what CBRE says is a healthy indicator, even though that figure is slightly less than last year (25%).

Germany is coveted by international brands

The study is reassuring for commercial real estate professionals in a time when Internet sales are constantly on the rise. For Peter Gold, head of cross-border retail at CBRE, there is a close correlation between physical stores and multichannel retailing. "Online shopping drives traffic to stores and retailers use it is an opportunity for store fulfillment," he said, and notes that the multichannel retailing will lead to greater investment in new and existing stores. "The news is coming direct from the retailers themselves," he said.

A Zadig & Voltaire store in Germany

Another very important study finding is that 54% of retailers consider Germany to be the most important target for 2013. "This reflects the strong economy of Germany within the eurozone area," noted CBRE. The study says that twenty new international brands were launched in the German market during the first half of 2012, coming mainly from the luxury and upmarket sectors, including Paule Ka, Zadig & Voltaire, Stone Island, Belstaff, J. Lindberg and Tory Burch. Karsten Burbach, head of retail services Germany for CBRE, also mentioned the opening of four new Apple stores and the opening of the first German Hollister stores in Bonn and Stuttgart.

Following Germany’s ranking, the study reported that 25% of retailers surveyed view Austria as the next sought-after location for new units, 24% expressed interest in the Netherlands, 24% were eyeing the UK, 23% were looking at Poland and Spain and 22% had plans for France.

Obviously these figures should be analyzed in terms of the number of stores already opened and the options for store openings in prime locations at reasonable costs, whether in cities or shopping centers.

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