Retail Rents are Expected to Fall Sharply with Rising Vacancies in the Malls

Not all businesses could sustain the tough phase of a pandemic. Many of them closed the door and moved to some other world by leaving the business industry. You can now see so many vacancies in the big malls where shop owners left their work due to extensive loss during the extended lockdown.


As people around the world are keen about following social distancing protocols, people have stopped to explore the malls anymore. It was a big business cycle breaker incident for the small businesses, and they are now failing to work at full capacity.

Without any doubt, many businesses are now shuttering for a good cause, and it is leading to more rental properties at many non-prime stations. Stats reveal that the entire retail market may now experience fall in the rental property prices with higher vacancies and economic uncertainties in the market due to coronavirus pandemic. Although landlords these days are following the pre-Covid rental; however, they are already aware of expected changes and have become highly flexible.


The prime retail rents have fallen down, ranging from the first to the second quarter with an estimated drop of 3.5% in the city areas. The prime rents reduced by 1.5 per cent in Orchard and reached $34.73 PSF, whereas it is 0.9 per cent at suburbs which reaches somewhere around $31.56 PSF.


It is expected to see an estimated fall of 10% in the prime rental properties by the end of this year, whereas for the suburbs, it may show a 5% drop.


The market is now expecting more empty spaces in most of the non-prime locations. And the demands may slowly rise in the malls with larger space availability. Moreover, the modern tenants are looking for additional delivery options with central kitchens, cloud kitchen, and enhanced social distancing measures.


Note that few other retail casualties that happened amid coronavirus include 12 Esprits outlets. There are so many sectors that are competing with each other over price variations. It is important to mention that Robinsons is stepping out of the Jem in Jurong by the coming month; however, Isetan will not provide any renewal service on property lease at Westgate after expiration of the old lease in the month of December.


The recent reports also reveal that mall operators can easily reinvent the space, and it can help to ensure easy and secure replacement of tenants. Jem also adjusted its layout in such a manner that it could accommodate the first concept store of Ikea.


The executive director of C&W, Mr Mark Lampard recently said that as the vacancies in the big malls will rise, it may bring new opportunities for retailers who want to work at those prime locations. Other than this, they could also check out the suburban-prime options to ensure high stability in the market.


In simple terms, retailers now have a better opportunity to set up a solid e-commerce channel along with virtual live sales. It is better known as the most efficient way to track and transact in the business sector these days.


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