How has the commercial real estate changed and adapted during and post COVID-19?

  1. Limited mall footfalls. People have opted for need-based shopping where leisure activities and impulse shopping have taken the biggest blow. The world doesn’t run on mere necessities, it runs on desires, dreams, and aspirations. By mid 2021, as the retail sector picks up its pace, the world pushes towards normalcy. How can retailers pull customers back to their favorite stores and food outlets? 
  2. Lack of content for cinema in competition with OTT platforms. With the rise of infinite no. of movies and shows right in our pockets, cinemas are now struggling to adjust to the new normal. How do they rethink their approach? How will they transform their offerings? How can they, once again, play host to the nostalgic memories of cinema experiences? 
  3. Stringent operating protocols. As the pandemic evolved, polities across the globe imposed strict guidelines for the reopening of malls. So, to attract the ‘once upon a time’ buzz of excited shoppers roaming around, how do we balance the thrill of exploration with uncompromising safety regulations? 
  4. Landlords hesitant to lease at discount rentals. The atmosphere of uncertainty has disbalanced the age-old principle of trust amongst many. But as the global population gains immunity and gets on with their merry lives, retail activity picks up momentum and customers are slowly pouring in. With rays of hope and opportunity, how do retailers build long-lasting trust amongst landlords and investors? How do they ensure a good ROI on their end?   
  5. How does building design and engineering play a role in this transformation?
  6. Design adhering to customers’ health and well-being. The customer is always right, as they say, and today, your customers’ health is your prime selling point. Sanitization stations, optimum spacing in public spaces to allow social distancing, balance between semi-open and closed spaces, and building management systems to monitor indoor environments, are some solutions to adopt. Why not show your customers the care and extra effort to give them the best of both worlds, the comfort and thrill of shopping without having to worry about falling ill? 
  7. Design to ensure and enforce safety protocols. Negative customer experience is one that hinders their intentions and here, their shopping journey. With safety protocols incorporated within the building security systems, the protocols can  
  8. Re-imagining spatial experiences for leisure activities. From drive-through food outlets to drive-in cinema facilities, safe and supreme is the new norm. Conventional space planning might not work anymore as storage facilities create more demand than outlet spaces. Customer circulations, waiting queues, public seatings, crowding for product launch, and similar patterns need to be reconsidered before design and construction. 
  9. Review, Recheck and Restore optimum indoor air quality. “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning [HVAC] systems, can reduce airborne exposures.” – ASHRAE’s report on re-opening building 2020. 

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