GLG Network Survey: High Street Retail and Commercial Prime II

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GLG interviewed 30 high street retailers and 30 executives responsible for managing commercial office space (following first survey published in September 2020).

What will you learn from this survey?

  • Respondents shared their views on the outlook of real estate and discussed about the relationship between tenants and landlords.
  • The survey also investigated the impact of COVID-19 on temporary or permanent changes to how offices operate or are designed.
  • Lastly, the research covered the respondents’ projections of when they believe a return to stable and maybe even small growth in retail rents will take place.

Examples of findings:

  • 63% of respondents believe that Brexit will disproportionately impact UK real estate in the next 5 years, 10% up from the previous wave conducted in September 2020. 
  • In March 2021, 43% of respondents mentioned they expect a return to stable and maybe even small growth in office rents in the following 1-2 years compared to 28% in September 2020. 
  • 23% of respondents believe that the demand for offices in general will never return to pre-COVID-19 levels compared to 48% in September 2020. 


The GLG Surveys team will draft the questionnaire with the support of GLG Network Member, Pete Cooper, former Director of UK Shopping Centres at Hammerson PLC until May of 2019.

The standard deliverable includes:

  • 1 x Individual responses (“raw data”), in Excel.
  • 1 x PPT report with aggregated data.


  • What real estate strategies going forward (location, function, scale) do you think will emerge as a result of COVID-19?
  • How likely will Brexit disproportionately impact UK real estate in the next 5 years?
  • Lease structures are evolving rapidly in UK retail property. Familiar legal formats are largely defunct. How likely do you think this structural change in relationship between landlords and tenants will happen in other EU countries?
  • How likely will brand adjacencies and tenant mix remain a key criteria for site selection? ​
  • Do you believe High Streets will outperform malls in the next 5 years?
  • How beneficial are landlord run promotions and marketing initiatives (which retailers mostly pay for via service charge) in terms of sales and awareness for retailers?
  • How important will transport connectivity be to real estate decisions in the next 10 years?
  • Will the new ‘department store’ operators emerging now and enabling online retail businesses to acquire physical store presence survive? ​
  • Over the next 5 years, do you think London office rents will outperform its European peers?
  • Do you foresee any age-related shifts in office use vs flexible working preferences?


This survey is available to subscribers of the Real Estate (RE) sector (Limited subscriptions and above). This offer includes the raw data file and a high-level presentation through PowerPoint. Please contact your GLG representative for details on your firm’s access.


Request other available and upcoming Network Surveys within the sector:

Real Estate (RE)

  • High Street Retail and Commercial Prime I 
    • 60 current property directors at mid to major corporates discussed their views on needs for commercial prime (i.e., office space) post COVID-19 combined with the high street angle on real estate executives, who had discussed the rental prices for shops on the high street and in shopping malls.
    • Questionnaire was drafted by Pete Cooper, former Director of UK Shopping Centres at Hammerson PLC until May of 2019.



Please be advised that GLG Network Surveys operate differently than traditional GLG consultations, surveys, teleconferences, etc. and it is advisable that you consult with your firm’s legal and/or compliance department to review your use of the product and the payment for such work under your current subscription.

By downloading this document and/or participating in the Network Survey, you understand and agree that the information and material provided by GLG, including survey results and survey proposal information, is provided for your own insight and informational purposes only. You further acknowledge and agree that this is a Network Survey for multiple GLG clients, and the results will be provided to all GLG clients that agree to participate in the Network Survey and GLG clients that agree to purchase the Survey results in the future. All survey results do not constitute investment advice or a recommendation. In using this Survey, you agree to hold Gerson Lehrman Group and the Survey respondents harmless and free of all liability as a result of your use of this Network Survey, other than liability resulting from the gross negligence or wilful misconduct of the protected party. You otherwise agree to be bound by Gerson Lehrman Group’s Usage Policies in your interactions with Gerson Lehrman Group and your receipt of services. These Survey results are for are for client’s own use and client shall not redistribute, disseminate, publish, or display the same, in whole or in part, to any third parties or publicly without the prior written permission of Gerson Lehrman Group, except explicitly set forth in your agreement with GLG. This survey will be double-blinded to both client and respondent. GLG reserves the right to restrict the number of clients that can pre-commit access. These Network Surveys are priced outside of standard GLG subscriptions but at a substantially reduced price to commissioning a fully proprietary GLG Network Survey. Upon finding these terms acceptable, please send an affirmative confirmation via email, which GLG will file in its records. Once confirmed, please note that the Client’s agreement to purchase the Network Survey is a legally binding and irrevocable commitment. If the survey is not included within your subscription, GLG will invoice Client for the fees due for the Network Survey. Please note that some respondents may not be Network Members, and the Terms and Conditions of Network Membership would not apply to such respondents and detailed records for them will not be available aside from the information that GLG capture in the Network Survey.

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