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Our vision on retail

Qrf believes strongly in retail property in Belgium’s inner city areas. In our latest annual report we back up this vision with demographic figures and statements from leading labels in the sector.

Foundation of the social fabric

  • The retail trade fulfils an essential role in society and within the economy – for shoppers, local residents, employees and retailers.
  • Retail outlets and shopping areas are essential for daily life, acting as work locations, places to meet and the beating heart of our cities and municipalities.
  • A thought experiment: imagine a retail park, webshop or shopping street disappearing. How would it impact our lives?

Time for new mobility

  • 30% of Generation Y consumers in Belgium do not plan to buy or lease a car before 2019.
  • This younger generation is opting to use public transport, taxis or bicycles to get about – as well as to go on foot. They find it easier and cheaper.
  • These consumers spend money in the inner city.

How e-commerce is speeding up physical changes

  • In a digital society, shopping is increasingly becoming a more social experience.
  • Authentic values and unique experiences are driving consumers to the destination.
  • It’s the Yin and Yang principle: Online is ‘convenience’, bricks and mortar stores provide ‘experience’.

Cities are capitalising on the change

  • A number of places are fast becoming ‘Yoghurt’ cities – i.e. cities with active cultures where you are constantly stimulated by live entertainment, the sounds of the city and vibes.
  • The emphasis is on the different functions that they host: hospitality outlets, historic sites, tourist attractions, etc.
  • Cities are capitalising on the diversity of the retail offering (chain stores, luxury boutiques and local independent shops).

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

  • New store chains that appeared on the Belgian market in 2015 (including Uniqlo, Juttu, Ginger, PME legend, Kiko and others) consciously opted for the Golden Mile of the inner city area.
  • Approximately 50% of leases signed in 2015 related to transactions in the inner city.