With each announced lockdown, Melbournians adaptto restrictions with more acceptance and tolerance each time. We’ve been here before, we’ll probably be here again, and we know that it’s all just temporary — we’ll be shopping at our favourite shopping strip again in no time.
Taking their cue from Melbourne’s residents, buyers of bricks-and-mortar assets are also unfazed by the restrictions placed upon the city. During a time where interest rates are at an all-time low, investors look at Melbourne’s suburban shopping strips as long-term assets. Like every investment, buying commercial real estate isn’t without its challenges — especially in a city like Melbourne — but they can see the long-term benefits of having the secure retail space two years down the track. Commercial real estate is a secure place to store their money and with quality tenants and a long-term lease, they can rest assured of this regardless of future lockdowns.
During each lockdown, restrictions forced shoppers to avoid shopping centres. That didn’t stop them from flocking to Melbourne’s suburban shopping strips though and because of this, traditional street-side businesses became even more highly sought-after in a post COVID-19 world. At a time when most shopping centres were shut down and forced to move to an online-only shopping model bricks-and-mortar bakeries, sidewalk cafes and the like, were still operating and serving the locals. People love strip shopping, it’s nicer to be out in the fresh air greeting each other face-to-face rather than behind a computer screen with barely any interaction. Shoppers would also rather learn about product range or information from a sales assistant in a physical store, instead of communicating with a chatbot. During lockdowns, online shopping didn’t allow for the human element and on some level, consumers will always want some personal interaction. They want to be able to try on that pair of jeans, browse through a book in the local bookstore, and then go meet their friends for a latte at the café next door.
It also works the other way around. Businesses can learn a lot from engaging with their customers face-to-face. And if the retail stores are in consumers’ local areas — especially walking distance — this is more appealing to them than having to drive to a major shopping centre.
Retail is not the only sector that had to learn to pivot during each lockdown and subsequent restrictions being quickly announced. Real estate companies had to switch from the traditional in-person auction model to online auctions. With four lockdowns under their belt, commercial real estate agencies are well prepared and equipped with sophisticated digital systems that make online auctions super simple.
In essence, Melbourne’s lockdowns and restrictions made what consumers prefer obvious, and that’s the interactive experience that comes with a traditional bricks-and-mortar retail store. Instead of hindering the commercial real estate business, it got investors and owner-occupiers alike excited about the future of strip retail shops.
If you are looking to purchase, lease or sell commercial property in Melbourne, then you should know Axis Property. Axis Property is a premium real estate agency that specialises in leasing and selling a wide range of commercial real estate properties in Melbourne. Their ability to understand the market is what sets them apart from the rest, and they also offer unmatched tenant representation, property valuation and assessment, advisory, and property management services for commercial properties.