by Property Forum | Retail

Shopping centre footfall in February in Poland, prior to the fourth lockdown, averaged approximately 80% of last year’s levels. Shoppers will return to shopping centres once restrictions are lifted, say experts of Cushman & Wakefield.

In Q1 2021, there were no major trading restrictions in shopping centres and retail parks only during the four weeks of February. January 2021 saw a continuation of the third lockdown since the pandemic broke out, while March began with regional restrictions put in place in some provinces and ended with a fourth national lockdown.

“Footfall data for February 2021 (PRCH Footfall Index) supports the retail trend recorded during last year’s lockdown-free periods. Consumers responded to the lifting of retail restrictions quite quickly, with February footfall averaging approximately 80% of last year’s levels,” says Małgorzata Dziubińska, Associate Director, Cushman & Wakefield.

“Observing the retail market in the current covid reality, I can boldly say that customers will return to shopping centres. During successive lockdowns, the rate of e-commerce growth moves up to 11-12% but falls by a few percent once brick-and-mortar retail reopens. Not only do customers need to do shopping, but they also need to experience the buying process. The pandemic has accelerated, rather than caused, a need for rethinking our approach to physical shopping and to managing shopping centres and their facilities. The fastest growing trends which will impact the way shopping centres operate include digitalization, omnichannel, flexible retail formats, and ESG,” concludes Beata Kokeli, Head of Retail Agency, Cushman & Wakefield.