In a CBRE report titled It’s All About Place-making landlords were encouraged to help retail stores stay ahead of the curve as the retail landscape continues to evolve. It noted that consumers are embracing digital commerce platforms at the expense of physical outlets. “The onus of ensuring that stores in shopping centers remain an important and relevant touch point for consumers should not lie with retailers solely,” CBRE Research Singapore/Southeast Asia head Desmond Sim explained in the report. “The roles of the asset manager, landlord and shopping center need to evolve to cater to the new needs of retailers and consumers amid stiff competition.” With nearly four million sqm. of retail stock set to be completed in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam during the next three to five years, landlords will need to be proactive in order to remain relevant with consumers. The CBRE report analyzed retail stock in Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. “Some retail developments across these six cities have had to shut down in the face of high vacancy rates and low footfall as they failed to capture consumers and retain tenants,” the report concluded. “One suggestion is for landlords to acquire eCommerce platforms or set up logistics networks to give consumers the fully integrated omni-channel experience.” Some forward thinking shopping outlets including the Central Group in Thailand have set up online platforms that provide “click-and-collect” or “store-to-door” services. These can allow tech savvy shoppers to feel like the retail store is reliable and can earn their trust. While each market does have its own unique challenges, the report revealed that most Southeast Asian economies will have to adjust to structural shifts in the shopping experience. “Both physical and online-only retailers are also more inclined to expand their footprint in these shopping centers in their bid to incorporate an omni-channel strategy,” the report concluded.