- 95% of European retail sales in 2015 were carried out either in-store or online via a brick-and-mortar retailer
- Pure play online sales accounted for only 3.6% of total retail sales in Europe in 2015
The impact of online retailing on retail real estate is often grossly overstated as a result of an incongruous narrative that has focused on clicks versus bricks. On the contrary, in today’s era of omni-channel retailing, there has been a convergence of online and offline and bricks-and-mortar remains the cornerstone of retailer strategies, acting as a platform to showcase brands and drive sales across all channels.
Going forward, as physical retailers continue to invest in developing their omni-channel strategies, they will be a leading driver of e-commerce sales. As such, far from being a weakness, rising e-commerce sales testify to the strength of retail real estate and the enduring value of the store as an integral part of the consumer experience. Therefore, in order to understand the true contribution of bricks-and-mortar to turnover, it is also necessary to consider the online sales of retailers who have a physical store network. This report serves to provide a more accurate picture of the value of retail real estate in Europe and to quantify the retail sales that are owed all, or in part, to physical stores.