Banks reducing suburban retail footprint

More banks are downsizing their physical occupancies in suburban areas amid the rise of online shopping and banking, according to property multinational CBRE.

Luke Bryant, negotiator of office services and capital markets at CBRE Asia Pacific, said the group has seen a prevailing trend of major banks significantly reducing their retail footprint in suburban markets over the past 12 months.

“As the major banks’ retail leases come to their expiry dates, we are witnessing the traditional, circa 450-square-metre footprint now being significantly reduced to approximately half that,” he said.

“The rise in online shopping has resulted in more people doing their banking online, with banks appearing to be adapting to this shift in attitude by transitioning retail banking to online as branch visits become less popular.”

Mr Bryant said the shrinking presence of banks in suburban markets is unlocking retail opportunities.

“Albeit, landlords are losing banks as tenants, this market shift is opening doors for new entrants vying to gain a presence in the strip-shop retail market,” he said.

“The majority of Sydney suburbs are witnessing a similar trend as banks adapt to meet the needs of the modern consumer, however, we see this as a positive change for the suburban market, with it unlocking a plethora of opportunities to revitalise tired strip shops and outdated buildings.”

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