The popularity can be attributed to measures from the central and local governments to stimulate consumption, the rise of China's "new consumption," and the continuous improvement in consumer shopping experience and energy and natural resource usage sustainability, according to the firm's report China Retail Supply/Demand 2021.
The total stock of all mid- to high-end shopping centers in 16 major cities in China reached 88.96 million square meters by the second quarter, an increase of 2 percent quarter on quarter, it said.
The average rental for prime retail properties in major cities in China was 755.6 yuan (about 117 U.S. dollars) per square meter per month by Q2, up 0.4 percent quarter-to-quarter, it said.
The report said about 22.59 million square meters of new supply is planned to enter the market in the second half of 2021 and into 2022, which will exacerbate retail property competition.
"The COVID-19 epidemic has brought many changes to retailing in China. On the one hand, health and safety measure levels at both physical bricks and mortar stores and shopping centers have been stepped up. On the other hand, the number of people shopping online has further increased," said Shaun Brodie, head of Occupier Research, Greater China at Cushman and Wakefield.
"Looking at the longer term, not only will retailers and shopping center operators look to continually raise the level of sales at their bricks and mortar store locations by various innovative means, but given the greater awareness of environmental sustainability, many will also examine the many ways they can make their physical properties greener," he said.