The real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield has analyzed the more than 2,500 rental operations advised by the company closed in 2021 in the main European markets.
From these operations, which total more than 1,200,000 m2, the following data emerge:
• 75% of operations respond to new hires, the paradigm shift in 2021 responds to a market dominated by demand.
• 72% of the contracted area corresponds to the segment of premises of up to 600 m2. In general terms, the market has been reactivated with operations of small dimensions, although there has also been more activity in larger premises, if we compare it with the year 2020.
• Of the total contracted, more than 190,000 m2 correspond to the fashion sector, this being the most attractive segment in each of the main European markets. The fashion segment accounts for 21% of closed operations in 2021.
• Within the new transactions, it should be noted that the role of fashion is key, representing 25% of the total. The pandemic has been a challenge for the sector that has turned out to be the one that has best adapted, transformed and added innovation.
Spain maintains the European trend
According to the analysis of Cushman & Wakefield, which comprises more than 200,000 m2 transactionscarried out by the consultancy in more than 300 operations, the following conclusions are drawn:
• As in the rest of the markets, the fashion sector has an important role in the hiring of new space, with 23% of hiring.
• In the case of Spain, the restoration increases the offer compared to 2020 and consolidates 20% of the share of contracting retail spaces.
Top 5 - Weight by sector of the new contracts in Spain and Europe
Fuente: Cushman & Wakefield
Specifically, activity on the High Street continues with a trend similar to that registered in 2019. The first quarter of 2022 totals 9,500 m² transacted in the SuperPrime and Prime sections of the main commercial arteries of Madrid and Barcelona. As for the size of the operations, 72% correspond to contracts with surfaces of up to 300 m².
Of the operations closed by C&W in recent months, it is worth mentioning: Uniqlo in Gran Via, Ray-Ban in Passeig de Gràcia, Zimmermann in Serrano street and passeig de Gràcia. Regarding other cities, Tous has opened in Seville and Rituals will open its doors shortly in Valladolid.
Absorption of commercial area by ranges (number of operations) – Madrid and Barcelona
Fuente: Cushman & Wakefield
Rob Travers, Head of EMEA Retail at Cushman & Wakefield, said: "Retailers are more demanding than ever with the requirements of their physical stores. However, retailers' demand for best-in-class assets has been more resilient than expected. In turn, rental activity for such assets rebounded sharply across Europe as Covid restrictions were lifted. Many people discarded retail ahead of time."
Shopping Centers and Retail Parks
- Analyzing the assets managed by C&W's Asset Services team, the footfall and the Sales Index have increased by 15.4% and 8.9% respectively compared to 2021.
- During the first quarter of 2022, the sales index compared to 2021 and 2019 continues to recover with a development similar to that of Q4 2021. Most sectors indicate positive figures compared to 2021 and 2019, showing signs of recovery of these activities, which will be observed in the following months.
- During the last year it has been identified that the recovery of sales in shopping centers is at a higher rate than footfall if we compare the figures with the situation prior to the pandemic, which indicates a change in consumer habits during 2021. The consumer is visiting the mall less and spending more on each visit.
According to Cristina Pérez de Zabalza, director of Leasing in Spain at Cushman & Wakefield: "During the last two years of the pandemic, retail has been one of the many activities that have had to adjust to the new circumstances that have been Emerging. For the sector, in general, 2019 was a good year, with many operations taking place and helping to maintain a good speed of the different brands. With the closure of physical stores the following year, there was a sudden slowdown that caused an unusual situation to be generated. After the return to normality, and after several months of adjustment, it is positive to see how things are regularizing, brands return to resume new openings, adjust their formats, some upwards and others reducing, but, in any case, demonstrating a dynamism and a movement that makes us recover the activity. The consumer returns to the physical store, wants to continue finding the shopping experience, incorporating into their habits the advantages they have found in online shopping. The stores are in continuous development as shown by the data we reflect. Retail is still alive and active, which makes us consider a future full of new operations"