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China’s retail landlords forced to face e-commerce disruption

China’s retail landlords are being forced to change their strategies to meet the challenge of e-commerce.

Despite the breakneck pace of Chinese retail real-estate development, roughly 20 per cent of Chinese sales are online transactions, pushing landlords to rapidly adapt to a new online/offline paradigm.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of retail for China James Hawkey said: “China is leading the world when it comes to blending online and offline retail, to the extent that in a few years’ time, those terms will leave our vocabulary. We are moving to a world where all retail transactions will be internet-influenced.”

In discussing challenges for shopping centre owners, Hawkey added that they need to “create an amazing environment where people want to spend their time”.

He recommends focusing on design, landscaping and air quality, with flexible interior space that can serve brands or management looking to run special events.

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