On 29 March 2021, the European Council of Shopping Places released a position paper responding to the financial impact of Covid-19 on the retail property sector. The uncertainty of repeated lockdowns, the inconsistent approach of different governments, and the overly onerous focus on retail property owners to support an industry in crisis is not sustainable. In its paper, ECSP calls on the relevant authorities to urgently consider the following measures that could help mitigate the impact and risk associated with the pandemic on Europe’s retail property sector. Read more here.
On 3rd March over 130 participants attended an ECSP workshop to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on lease agreements in the retail sector, bringing together senior legal experts from across Europe.
The pandemic has had a major impact on the retail sector, leading to the forced closure of hundreds of thousands of shops, bars, restaurants, and leisure facilities across the EU. It is an unprecedented crisis that has also had a disproportionate impact on landlords in the retail property sector.
Hosted by ECSP’s legal working group, speakers discussed a variety of topics impacting the landlord tenant relationship as governments introduced various national and regional lockdown measures. These included the validity and continuity of existing leases; requests to renegotiate contractual terms; the application of rent releases; as well as the various relief measures and subsidies granted to tenants. The panellists also looked into the different approaches adopted by several countries across Europe, comparing France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, UK and Ukraine.
For more information on ECSP working group activities and for details on future events, please contact Joost Koomen at email@example.com.
24 + EU country-by-country analysis of lockdown measures impacting Shopping Centres across Europe
Today, Europe’s leading association representing the retail property industry and Shopping Places has launched an online interactive map showing what lockdown measures are in place in 24 countries as well as at the EU level.
It will be updated as measures evolve to provide a comprehensive and comparative guide to how different markets are managing the pandemic and the impact this is having on one of Europe’s most important industries.
It summarises the restrictions that are in place and whether there are any support measures being made available.
For further information, please go to COVID-19 Tracker.
In November 2020, ECSP conducted a survey looking at some of the main issues currently affecting the retail property sector.
Below you will find a summary of the main highlights from nearly 90 responses focused on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the industry.
Do you believe EU policymakers understand the challenges that shopping places are currently facing in the pandemic?
Do you believe EU policymakers are introducing appropriate measures to support the industry?
Has Covid-19 impacted your business:
Has a cluster of Covid-19 cases been identified or associated with any of your centres?
In terms of new health and safety measures, what have you prioritised since the pandemic begun? Please select the top three issues:
Has it been easy to understand and adapt to changing government measures that have been introduced in the markets in which you operate?
What has been the impact of Covid-19 on footfall to the centres that you are responsible for?
What has been the impact of Covid-19 on the estimated turnover for the centres that you are responsible for?
What additional cumulative costs have you incurred as a consequence of Covid-19 related new measures you had to implement since the pandemic begun?
What other main challenges you have faced since the beginning of the crisis? Please select the top three issues
Do you anticipate continued uncertainty throughout 2021?
How will this uncertainty impact your business? Please select the top three issues:
How are you planning to mitigate this impact? Please select the top three issues:
In November 2020, ECSP conducted a survey amongst its members looking at some of the main issues currently affecting the retail property sector.
Below you will find a summary of the main highlights from nearly 90 responses focused on the impact the covid-19 pandemic is having on the traditionally busy Christmas shopping period.
Do you support your government’s response to close shopping places in response to the recent spike in new Covid infections?
Do you think shopping places should be allowed to remain open in the lead up to Christmas?
Why do you think shopping places should remain open? Please select the top three issues:
How confident are you that you will have a successful Christmas in 2020?
Do you expect to be open over Christmas?
How are you preparing for Christmas?
How important is Christmas to your annual sales target?
How much do you expect Covid-19 could have an impact on your Christmas sales?
What percentage of your total number of visitors come to your centre(s) over Christmas?
How much do you expect Covid-19 could have an impact on footfall over the Christmas period?
Beyond sales and footfall, what will be the impact of a subdued Christmas on your business? Please select the top three issues:
What are you doing to mitigate against this impact? Please select the top three issues:
Peter R. Wilhelm, Chairman of the ECSP Board, and Dominique Moerenhout, CEO of EPRA
For our members, the run up to Christmas is the most important time of the year. We have therefore noted with grave concern the rise of new Covid-19 infections. Public health and safety must always be everyone’s primary priority. Our members have consequently invested significantly in new procedures and products to protect the millions of people who visit our shopping destinations every day. While the new rules being introduced by governments across Europe this week are an important way of trying to manage this crisis, extended restrictions will however have a disproportionate impact on the retail property sector. To help safeguard up to 6.3 million European jobs we urgently call on the relevant authorities to ensure a level playing field across the retail sector, both online and offline, and to apply a tiered approach wherever possible, as soon as possible. Communities must have continued access to the things they need and want as we head towards the traditionally busy Christmas season.
It is no secret that the current crisis takes place at a moment in a time when the sector is already facing massive challenges, notably due to the continuous surge of e-commerce and changing consumer habits.
Download the PDF here to read the interview with ECSP Secretary General Joost Koomen on page 26 in the PRCH RRF Crisis Report Vol.4 2020.
On 6 May, ECSP, together with 17 leading international and national real estate investment associations issued a joint statement highlighting the critically important role our industry plays in society and the economy in Europe and supporting government measures to recover from the financial impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.
Click here to learn more.