According to LINC Commercial Real Estate founder Najdi Rafaty, retail markets across the state are seeing expected declines in occupancy. During a recent roundup of retail experts, she discussed how it could have been even worse had retail not evolved over the past few years. According to her, physical and digital innovations, including technology improvements, SEO enhanced websites, digital marketing, and targeted social media outreach have been crucial to surviving this challenging time.
“Social distancing has forced most shopping decisions to be made on personal devices,” Rafaty said. “Having retail development more in line with demand has helped get tenants through the pandemic and on to the other side. As a result, the impact on property values will not be as significant as it would have been had these changes not been made.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all segments of the economy, with the full impact yet to be calculated. However, retail real estate has fared better than most. That is particularly true after the first few months of the pandemic Going forward, the industry will likely need to continue innovating and adapting if that success is to continue during these unprecedented times.