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Leisure, health care, education and services key to future of retail centers: Report

December 13, 2017

Shopping centers will become much more than shopping centers within a dozen years by reinventing themselves as mixed-use destinations offering leisure, health care, education and other services, predicts CBRE in a just released report titled The Future of Retail 2030.

Some of these changes are well under way, as are other trends cited in the report. CBRE notes that landlords will strive to set their centers apart by leasing to local retailers and food-and-beverage tenants. Even national tenant chains will seek to tailor individual units to local tastes. “Retail chains will begin to further develop ‘local’ concepts and brand names to give the appearance of independence,” the report notes.

Meanwhile, gas stations will evolve too, serving as collection points for merchandise ordered online, CBRE predicts.

“Retail will evolve at a quickening pace, reshaping the roles of the shopping center, the gas station and the store,” said Natasha Patel, CBRE’s director of global retail research, in a prepared statement accompanying the report. “The speed of change may catch some people by surprise, as the mind-set and requirements of the consumer will evolve more quickly than the industry can adapt. This means that investors and occupiers need to get ahead of the changing trends rather than catching up.”

“Smartphones will no longer exist, being replaced by smaller, wearable gadgets capable of delivering information through virtual-reality technology”

Other predictions for 2030: Smartphones will no longer exist, being replaced by smaller, wearable gadgets capable of delivering information through virtual-reality technology. “Retailers and landlords will need to prepare to provide digitally enabled environments that can leverage consumers’ connectivity,” the report advises. “These environments will need to complement — not compete with — consumers’ digital access.”

Checkout counters will go the same way as smartphones, to be replaced by faster, cashless ways to pay. Virtual-reality technology will enable customers to view themselves wearing apparel already owned in combination with an item being considered for purchase.

“These insights are wide-ranging, but we do see common themes,” said Anthony Buono, CBRE’s executive managing director of retail advisory and transaction services for the Americas. “Customers want quick access to goods and services across any and all channels, and they want meaningful experiences around their purchases, be that education, entertainment or wellness.”

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT