Republished from Law A La Mode
By: Janice Yau Garton and Carly Roberts
There is little doubt that the continuing shift towards online retailing will have tremendous implications for the Asian real estate market. Over the coming years, physical retailers will have to change the way they use their space, shopping centers will undergo a transformation, and logistics real estate will see a boom, particularly in China.
This year, the Asia-Pacific region is set to overtake North America as the world’s largest e-commerce market, and China is predicted to become the second-largest business-to-consumer e-commerce market by 2017 (with the US remaining the largest). Between 2009 and 2012, e-commerce grew by an annual average of 70 percent in China.
Customers are looking to online retailers for lower prices, wider ranges and more convenience. In Asia in particular, access to the Internet has improved markedly in recent years, and Internet users located in Asia now account for almost 50 percent of all Internet users worldwide.