More than 60 percent of local retail stores plan to expand their business scale this year as sales are likely to pick up further after a mild increase last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, CBRE Taiwan said in a report on Friday.
Sixty-three percent of retail stores expressed their intention to revive expansion plans that ran aground last year because of the COVID-19 outbreak and 44 percent plan to bolster sales over the Internet, it said.
Retail sales last year edged up 0.2 percent to NT$3.86 trillion (US$136.22 billion), as the nation’s effective control of the virus made a quick recovery possible in the second quarter, CBRE analyst Man Chan (陳頌民) said in the report.
Based on the firm’s survey of retail investment in the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan’s investment interest is much healthier than the regional average at 49 percent, the report showed.
Still, 30 percent of local stores said they would put off expansion plans — lower than 39 percent elsewhere — according to the survey, whose respondents include restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment facilities, as well as cosmetics and fashion stores.
More than 50 percent of retail stores abandoned expansion plans after seeing their revenue shrink by a double-digit percentage at the height of the pandemic in April last year, Chan said.
However, many have become active again in searching for expansion sites, encouraged by a correction in rental fees and the nation’s healthy economic outlook, he said.
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics on Saturday raised the nation’s economic growth forecast to 4.64 percent for this year, a new high since 2014, and predicted that private consumption would increase 3.74 percent, reversing a 2.37 percent decline last year.
Retailers would also seek to tap into e-commerce, as online retail sales last year totaled NT$341.8 billion, surging 19 percent from a year earlier, backed by a low-contact economy, while 77 percent of local eateries plan to improve food delivery offers in light of surging credit-card spending for food delivery services, CBRE analyst Ping Lee (李嘉玶) said in the report.
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