Challenges and opportunities in the European retail sector
The outlook of the retail sector was already fragile before the pandemic, mainly challenged by the rising importance of e-commerce on consumer habits. Structural changes have been brought forward as confined consumers have used online platforms to satisfy their essential needs. During the first lockdown, food sales peaked, following the closures of bars, cafes and restaurants across countries. Sales of sports equipment, furniture and electronics also showed resilience.
Retail investment in the first three quarters of the year, held up well, despite the circumstances, underpinned by investor demand for food and convenience retail. We are in the middle of a crisis, and although some trends become more clear, it is still uncertain what will be the final impact on consumer behaviour and eventually on retail itself. The announcements of effective vaccines signal the 'light at the end of the tunnel'. In the meantime, retailers and investors adapt their strategies to the new normal.
Director, European Research
Read the articles within Spotlight: Retail investment – Focus on Food below.