Retail leasing activity was quiet in Q4 2016 during what is a traditionally subdued period for signing new leases. Most regional markets saw new enquiries decline over the course of 2016.
The F&B sector accounted for more than a quarter of new leasing enquiries in Asia Pacific in 2016. Given the lack of new demand drivers, this sector will continue to lead expansionary demand in most markets this year.
Several US fast fashion brands announced plans to restructure operations and withdraw from loss-making markets, while department stores also continued to close across the region. Demand from luxury brands remained steady.
Retailers are expected to remain cautious in 2017. The year will be characterised by greater investment and focus on flagship stores at the expense of smaller satellite stores in non-core areas.