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Under normal market conditions, no other real estate property class has attracted as much chatter in recent years as retail. Once a favourite of investors, it has been facing increasing challenges for some time. But COVID-19 resulted in many malls, stores and restaurants being closed due to government mandates. During the pandemic, retail became the most vulnerable property class. How significant have the casualties been? This session will examine a wide range of major issues and challenges that both landlords and retailers have faced along with the question of what is the path forward as the pandemic recedes. What is the future for super regional malls vs. smaller enclosed malls vs. power centres vs. grocery anchored centres vs. street front retail vs. restaurants and food retail? Has the surge in e-commerce due to the mandated closure of most shopping outlets resulted in a permanent structural shift in the retail market? How can brick and mortar co-exist with online shopping? How can landlords redefine and transform the onsite retail experience and bring back more shoppers? This session will examine these and other trends related to the future of retail.
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