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Online share developments not all bad news

The online share of retail sales is still above its pre-pandemic trend, but a closer look suggests that is perhaps not as bad for the retail sector as it looks. For example, the share of online clothing sales has declined over the past year, which implies the hit to high street and shopping centre demand is easing. And while the share of household goods bought online has held up, we suspect much of that reflects ‘click & collect’ orders which may boost footfall to retail parks. That’s one reason why we think retail rents will grow by around 2% p.a. over 2024-28, compared to the 3.4% p.a. fall seen over the previous five years.

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