3Things: Inflation here to stay, online food sales, office returns


Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture

A recent study by CBRE of the EMEA zone finds that 65% of companies have re-opened all of their branch offices. But more than half continue to regulate the number of employees that come to work each day, with considerable differences depending on the size. Among those with fewer than 100 employees, 60% are allowing access to all employees. By contrast, just 24% of mid-size companies (up to 10,000 people) have opened their offices to all staff all the time. With the biggest companies, that figure falls to just 11%. Assuming positive developments with the pandemic, 57% of companies expect employees to be back full-time by the end of the year.

home office

Total Czech workers (left) and the percentage working from home (right)

Cushman & Wakefield reports that 4.2% of all food sales in the Czech Republic currently take place online, with the average increase over the past three years running at 106%. It’s a far lower percentage than other retail sectors, with nearly half of all electronics sales taking place online. However, the share of Internet-aided food sales is set to rise to as much as 9.6% by 2025. Jiří Kristek, C&W partner and Head of Industrial and Retail Warehousing, says the impact on metropolitan logistics markets is significant. “The distance to the end customer and the speed of delivery is an essential factor with food, so these companies constantly seek premises that would allow them to reduce the delivery term as much as possible. This situation is radically changing the dynamics on the storage space market, and the future rents in schemes around Prague and Brno will be markedly higher than outside these hubs.” The total volume of logistics space leased during the first half of 2021 was equal to 85% of the space leased in all of 2020.

online retail

Finally, if you’ve been living under a rock of denial, you may still believe that those pesky inflation headlines would go away soon. That once the global supply chains interrupted by the pandemic were restored, prices would go back to normal, or at least stop rising so quickly. Well, that’s not going to happen. Mark Robinson warned about this a couple weeks ago in ThePrime and he’s just been joined by no less of an authority than Bloomberg’s John Authers. In today’s “Points of Return” newsletter, he writes that economists are running out of arguments for a quick solution. “The debate over whether the current dose of inflation is merely transitory is almost at an end,” he says. “There’s room for much argument about what should be done about rising prices, but there’s no longer any sensible way to dismiss this inflation episode as merely transitory.” It’s not just energy, it’s not just construction materials and it’s not just restaurants. It’s the latest sort of contagious infection and it’s spreading rapidly.


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