QRF Header Image

Our vision on retail

Investing in retail at top locations

Qrf City Retail believes strongly in retail property located in busy city centres. You can read all about our vision of cities here and see how Qrf City Retail also has a clear vision of the (changing) retail market.

Foundation of the city and social fabric

  • The retail trade fulfils an essential role in society and within the economy – for shoppers, local residents, employees and retailers. It provides an opportunity for making contacts, having conversations and building social relations.
  • 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?

E-commerce is speeding up physical change: not as an obstacle, but a catalyst

  • In our digital society, shopping has increasingly become a social experience.
  • Surveys speak with one voice about omnichannelling i.e. that e-commerce and the physical, bricks-and-mortar store can live happily side by side and strengthen each other.
  • Bricks-and-mortar stores are needed to keep the e-commerce model financially viable, given the enormous cost of the so-called last mile in the delivery to home.
  • The physical store is indispensable in transferring brand identity: direct contact with the product and staff reinforce a unique experience and result in a stronger bonding process. Research shows that 75% of Belgians and 73% of Dutch people prefer the physical store to online shopping.
  • Sustainability and ecology are also playing an increasingly important role.
  • It’s the Yin and Yang principle: Online is ‘convenience’, bricks-and-mortar stores provide ‘experience’.


Changing shoppers making (more) demands:

  • The world of the shopper has changed
  • Shoppers are attaching more importance to:
    • Accessibility by car 
    • Presence of their favourite stores 
    • Sociability and liveliness but also cleanliess 
    • Presence of hospitality outlets for drinks, snacks, etc. 
    • 9-to-5 shopping is no longer the order of the day. Shoppers want more extensive opening hours. For example, more than 65% want to be able to go shopping after 6.00 pm.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

  • Many new store chains that have appeared on the Belgian and Dutch market previously (including Uniqlo, & Other Stories, PME legend, KIKO, Burger King) have consciously opted for the Golden Mile of the inner city area.
  • Stores score well with new concepts that capitalise on experience and atmosphere (such as Veritas, Yves Rocher, Nivea, Juttu, etc.)
  • More than 50% of the leases signed in 2016 related to transactions in the inner city.