Retail stores and sectors of the construction industry that serve them should continue to do well into the internet age according to a report by leading real estate services firm CBRE.

The study, called The Role of Real Estate in the Multi-Channel World surveyed 50 leading international retailers with a combined network of more than 32,000 stores. Contrary to popular perceptions the immediate outlook is positive with physical stores continuing to play a significant role in multi-channel sales and strategies of distribution.

According to the CBRE, 72 percent of retailers around the world believe they will be operating the same or a greater number of stores in their domestic markets in the next two years, while 60 percent said they will be expanding across their whole international network.

“Our message to the retail and real estate industry is don’t panic,” explained Peter Gold, head of cross border EMEA retail for CBRE. “In reality, multichannel is encouraging shoppers to visit stores and is driving additional business to retailers – the overall pie is getting bigger and it is critical for retailers and landlords alike to embrace multi-channel, understand that it does not have to be expensive, and secure a greater slice of the market.”

All this is good news for retail constructors who can expect more work to come their way as the physical look and role of stores adapt to the internet and multi-channel age. The report expects more stores to act as pick-up points for online orders in preference to home deliveries. In addition 80 percent of retailers revealed that they want retrofit their stores with kiosks where customers can take advantage of multi-channel capacity.

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