KBRA Releases Research – CRE Secular Trends: Shoppers Return to Stores as E-Commerce Growth Slows

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#KBRA–KBRA releases research reviewing two key trends that are impacting the retail segment—the flattening of e-commerce as a percentage of total sales and the evolution of store formats and sizes—as well as examines the role of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) in influencing consumer product preferences.

The annual growth rate for e-commerce retail sales spiked during the pandemic in 2020, but it currently stands at its lowest level over the past 10 years. Further, e-commerce sales as a percentage of total retail sales grew every year from 2012 through 2020, but they have flattened and remained steady through annualized year-to-date Q3 2022. This flattening of e-commerce sales penetration coincides with consumers shifting from spending on goods during the pandemic to spending on experiences, which is expected to continue into the future.

The report examines how store format has become an important issue for retailers. While a one-size-fits-all approach may have worked in the past, brands need a variety of formats and sizes that fit different markets. More experimentation on format is expected in the near term as brands try to find what works for their customers. Overall, smaller-format stores are predicted to gain advantage over current larger formats.

Having an omnichannel presence is also very important for retailers. This may include online, mobile, virtual reality, and metaverse platforms, as well as brick-and-mortar and ship-from-store operations. As omnichannel options grow and the line between online and brick-and-mortar sales blur, it increases the difficulty in determining e-commerce sales and penetration.

In future releases, KBRA will highlight the secular trends that are transforming the “new normal” landscape for other property types.

Click here to view the report.

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KBRA is a full-service credit rating agency registered in the U.S., the EU and the UK, and is designated to provide structured finance ratings in Canada. KBRA’s ratings can be used by investors for regulatory capital purposes in multiple jurisdictions.


Patrick McQuinn, Senior Director

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Larry Kay, Senior Director

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Roy Chun, Senior Managing Director

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