Commercial real estate is understandably influenced by consumer habits. Because many shoppers today prefer online shopping, brick-and-mortar establishments have been forced to alter their tactics in order to stay in business. Because of e-commerce, commercial real estate is shifting so as to drive traffic and attract customers. However, these efforts are not always successful, and commercial real estate owners must adapt accordingly.
The convenience and variety provided by e-commerce is unparalleled. Brick-and-mortar stores simply cannot compete when buyers are able to make purchases and price comparisons from the comfort of their own homes. Some retailers have begun to take a more digital approach in order to appeal to the contemporary customer, but doing so often results in the neglect of the physical store, ultimately resulting in store closures and commercial real estate vacancies that are difficult to fill.
Previously, a store’s inventory had to travel to several different locations before arriving at the store. Because of the increasing convenience and expediency of e-commerce, many brick-and-mortar stores have shifted their priorities when it comes to physical locations. Rather than stick to smaller venues, retailers have instead begun to opt for larger buildings that feature the storefront as well as a warehouse, limiting the reliance on shipments to better satisfy customers. What this means for commercial real estate is that the traditional models of brick-and-mortar stores are slowly becoming obsolete in an effort to combat the effects of e-commerce and online shopping while an increasing demand for larger commercial retail spaces puts strain on existing properties.
When brick-and-mortar retailers are driven out of business due to a decline in sales and customers, commercial real estate properties like malls and shopping centers are left with glaring vacancies. Replacing these stores with others like them has proven to be ineffective, and many businesses are forced to leave, resulting in a lapse in income for building owners.
In order to combat this decline in brick-and-mortar establishments, many commercial real estate owners have taken to allowing alternative tenants to set up shop. Though shopping malls may have been designed to house department stores and small shops, their available space can be easily repurposed. From office space to urgent care facilities, commercial real estate buildings are changing their initial purpose without deviating from their classification. In some cases, establishments like shopping centers are completely revamping their arrangements, shifting toward the implementation of an apartment complex in place of the vacant shops.
Taking advantage of the amenities provided by commercial real estate such as food service availability and accessibility to public resources like transportation, commercial real estate owners are able to adapt their properties to better suit the needs of the public.