The outbreak of coronavirus has challenged shopping centres. In most of the European countries they are closed and will probably be opened only in the last phase of lifting restrictions when the virus is finally clearly subsiding and people can again communicate and move in close proximity. It is likely that the current developments will change the market of shopping centres irrevocably.
In a short time, e-commerce has gathered strength and logistics solutions have been subjected to huge loads. Most of the goods we buy from the internet comes with contactless delivery. This is a new trend that will probably remain in the consumer habits, and many essentials, e.g. food, but also home appliances and furniture, will be ordered from the internet from now on.
Thus, it may be presumed that logistics centres and warehousing centres will gather strength, and the share of shopping in shopping centres shall further decrease. The centres that implement change more powerfully and aim at the concept of recreation will survive.
We are expecting shopping streets
In the past weeks, there is a new trend causing excitement in Estonia, where a store in a shopping centre is replaced by an individual store. And that happens in the best areas of Tallinn. It is clear that merchants want more freedom to decide how to operate their stores, and also possibilities to serve customers during times of crisis.
It is possible that new strength will flow into shopping streets in Tallinn where all the merchants have their own stores and it is possible to adhere to safety rules. The municipality should consider improvement of Viru and, for instance, Harju streets and create possibilities for visiting street shops in clean and dry conditions also in wet or snowy periods, similarly to the arteries of the centres of Stockholm or Helsinki where the streets have good drainage systems and electrical heating.
It also seems to be a good idea when considering the future commercial developments. Instead of another shopping centre, the city could rather have a shopping street where people can shop in fresh air, door to door, while keeping their feet dry.