New BBE study: “Tenants in Focus”: retail tenants prefer agglomerations and city centers

The German retail market is considered a safe haven by investors. Retailers and landlords are confronted with significant challenges as a result of digitization and demographic change. BBE Handelsberatung has therefore published a study in cooperation with the ILG-Group and Berlin Hyp AG, which focuses on tenants. This is the first time German retailers have been extensively surveyed: where and how do they see their future?

The study interviewed 750 retailers in 2015 regarding their views on the future of the retail market and their position on the challenges of physical retail formats, e-commerce and multi-channel-retailing.

The most important results:

  1. Retail turnover and sales space are still stable in the German retail sector.
  2. Preferred locations are agglomerations and city centers only the grocery sector prefers solus unit locations .
  3. Accessibility by car will still be an important factor in the future, more so than factors such as the local residential population and tenant structure.
  4. Bricks and mortar retailers are fit for e-commerce – online stores, click & collect, digital marketing are widely common among retailers with physical retail formats.
  5. Therefore they are predominantly confident concerning sales floor data and locations; only in the consumer electronics sector is there consensus on forecasts for decreasing sales areas.
  6. Change affects retail formats and product offerings to varying degrees – grocery retailers will continue to be a customer magnet, consumer electronics will lose their anchor role.
  7. Superstores in their current form will continue losing shares is sales. The current format is not marketable in the long-term. Operators are confronted with significant challenges.
  8. Tenants would like more understanding from investors and property managers for their own requirements and those for the property as well as effective information flow.
  9. According to the retailers questioned, there is no alternative for base rent.


The objective of the study was to gain a better understanding of tenants’ expectations and requirements as an essential value driver for real estate investment. Furthermore, the future of superstores will be highlighted in this study.

Your contact

Markus Wotruba

BBE Handelsberatung GmbH
Brienner Str. 45
80333 München

Tel: +49 89 55118-176
Fax: +49 89 55118-153
E-Mail: wotruba@bbe.de