Retailers that establish a multichannel business will be the ones to experience the greatest success in the coming years. This is the finding of a new report published by CBRE entitled The Role of Real Estate in the Multichannel World. According to the firm, operating online does not necessarily have a detrimental effect on store portfolios and there is evidence to suggest that an effective multichannel strategy can result in a greater number of shops being added to a company's network, rather than a decline in space.
The organisation estimates that in the next two years, 72 per cent of retailers will have the same number of stores or have increased the size of their network, with 60 per cent of the firms surveyed stating that they will need to invest in more shops as a result of their multichannel approach to business. Head of cross border retail for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at CBRE Peter Gold commented: "In reality, multichannel is encouraging shoppers to visit stores and is driving additional business to retailers - the overall retail pie is getting bigger and it is critical for retailers and landlords alike to embrace multichannel, understand that it does not have to be expensive, and secure a greater slice of the market."
He added that the location of any retail real estate assets will continue to be crucial, but so too will the consumer experience offered by stores. Last month, Ian Parish, head of retail at BNP Paribas Real Estate, said one of the biggest challenges facing retailers is making the successful transition to becoming a multichannel business. He cited the House of Fraser as one firm that has been investing in its online division and has seen a rise in like-for-like sales as a result. Mr Parish concluded that shops need to adapt to the ever-changing retail environment and asserted that "multichannel retailing strategies will lead the way".