$nameRetail Switzerland Tool 2022
Zurich, September 2022

It was in November 2019 when our last full issue of the Switzerland High Streets Retail Report was published. Since then, our world and the retail sector have changed substantially. While in 2020 there were clearly fewer retail lettings in Switzerland and the focus of tenants and landlords was on securing leases and managing the legal and financial consequences of the lockdowns, 2021 was characterized by a new spirit of optimism under changed strategies.

With the lessons learned during the first pandemic year of accelerated digitalisation and the seamless integration of all sales channels, many retailers developed new store formats and also expansion strategies.

In Switzerland, too, especially in the second half of the year 2021, we saw a significantly higher level of interest on the retailer's side in renting new space. It was remarkable that these were often the Swiss retailers who had tended to consolidate in the 2010s. Swiss bookstores, but also fashion chains, took advantage of the opportunity to rent well-located spaces that had not been available in previous years. However, the strong interest of foreign electric car brands in prime locations was also remarkable.

In 2022 Tourism, which is important for the inner-city retail sector in Switzerland, has emerged from the weak years of 2020 and 2021. Overall, the Swiss hotel industry recorded 16.9 million overnight stays in the first six months of the current year which is only 10 per cent below the pre-Covid level of 2019.

Inflation, which has risen sharply in Europe, is being significantly lowered in Switzerland by the strong franc and stood at "only" 3.5% in summer 2022.
We continue to see strong demand for prime locations. Vacancy rates remain at very low levels on high streets, averaging at 2.5%. Retailers will, though, be even more selective and are likely to lease less space in total. We therefore hope that our new edition of the High Streets Report will serve you as a tool for decision-making and information in a more challenging environment.

We are delighted that, for the first time, we are offering our report as an interactive digital tool, with the option of scrolling through interactive maps of the individual high streets, showing the current retail occupiers and pdf documents for download with more details on cities and high streets. This is the first version, and we will now continuously enhance the tool into a comprehensive information platform about stationary retail in Switzerland.

Me and my team look forward to your feedback and hope that our tool supports you in your research about the Swiss retail real estate market. If you have any further questions, we will be gladly available to answer them in person. 

Michael Dressen MRICS – Head Retail CBRE Switzerland.

Click below to use the tool