E-Commerce in the Post-Pandemic Era - CEE response

November 29, 2023 10 Minute Read

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The pandemic had the potential to fundamentally alter the way we shop, by significantly accelerating the growth of e-commerce penetration, defined as the percentage of total retail sales in a market happening via online channels as opposed to in-store. In this report, we review whether CEE markets have experienced a lasting e-commerce growth effect as a result of COVID, and the associated implications for retail real estate. 


Aside from the surge observed during pandemic lockdown periods, most European e‑commerce markets have not seen a notable acceleration of their pre‑pandemic trend rate of growth. The majority of markets are either at or behind their pre-pandemic trend. Poland is a notable exception, having grown almost 3 year ahead of trend, although other CEE markets are a bit more behind. Moreover, e-commerce penetration growth has flatlined since the ending of lockdown restrictions and re-opening of physical retail.


Across Europe, consumers generally express a preference for store-based shopping. Given an increasingly digital world, however, retail occupiers should take steps to create a strong omnichannel experience, with the online and offline retail channels integrated as seamlessly as possible.


We invite you to explore the topic in our newest report.