A Changed Landscape
The Covid-19 pandemic will leave a lasting impression on the commercial real estate sector across Asia Pacific. While it brought more pain to the already battered retail sector, it put more wind in the sails of the industrial sector via the flourishing e-commerce industry, as many business-to-consumer (B2C) firms were forced to adapt quickly as lockdown movement restrictions in many markets prompted a huges shift to online retail activity. Much of this activity will remain permanent going forward and result in higher online retail asles growth and penetration across the region, regardless of market maturity.
This is evident when we look at the growth rate of online retail penetration across a few selected key markets across the Asia-Pacific with online penetration rates rising an average 14% year-on-year over 2020. We do not expect this growth to abate over the near-term and penetrationn rates should grow further, potentially reaching the regional leaders such as the Chinese Mainland and South Korea.