The Covid-19 crisis made retailers pause their development prior to adopting more Covid-proof strategies by rightsizing their networks and boosting investments in online retail. A handful of retailers are still pursuing a growth path.
Take-up volumes fell back in 2020 in both Belgium and Luxembourg, particularly after the outbreak of the health crisis.
The vacancy rate rose to 11.8% in Belgium and to 7.4% in Luxembourg, both historically high levels.
Prime rents are softening and remain under downward pressure in both countries.
Investors pushed the “Pause” button, particularly for large size transactions. Demand turns to shops with a grocery or convenience shopping component and retail parks.
Prime yields remained stable for retail warehousing but are decompressing for high streets and shopping centres, with prime yields up to 50 bps higher than 12 months earlier.