After a subdued 2021, will 2022 see the retail sector fully recover?
Following a slow start to 2021, a “return to normal” occurred from mid-April when European countries began to lift their restrictions. Everywhere, the reopening of “non-essential” stores as well as bars and restaurants restored footfall in high streets. The end of 2021 was marked by an epidemic resurgence, resulting in a further drop in footfall in some European high streets. Real recovery for retail activity with the lifting of remaining restrictions announced by most of European countries suggests more genuine and positive prospects for 2022.
In Q4 2021, European retail investment at €11.8 bn is in line with the 10-year average and is similar to Q4 2020 (+0.2%).
A common trend exists in almost every country: the share of retail warehousing in total retail investment was dominant in 2021, showing the greater appetite among investors for this sub-sector.
The European occupier market
Some positive signals about retail letting activity took place in late 2021. Occupier markets seem more dynamic now, with innovative concepts seeking to set up in capitals.
Cities are stepping up efforts to maintain their appeal. For instance, they are multiplying the number of events they hold (world sporting competitions, music festivals, seasonal events or special theme days).