OVID-19 drastically affected the financial landscape worldwide. The effects have rippled through every industry, including commercial real estate (CRE). Long-struggling malls and retail stores have taken an especially devastating blow. Between social distancing and consumers cutting discretionary spending, malls simply can’t catch a break. Without loan restructuring and innovative solutions to keep retail stores afloat, malls could become a thing of the past. To predict the future of malls and commercial real estate, it’s important to examine how we got here. Ecommerce: The Original Retail CRE Challenge: In February, the COVID-19 pandemic was mere weeks away from taking hold in the U.S. At the time, retail management company Vend boiled the Ecommerce vs. retail race down to purchase type. “Consumers are making more convenience purchases online,” Francesca Nicasio wrote, “but they’re still making their luxury and experiential purchases in person.” Indeed, retail CRE investors had been closely tracking the growing popularity of Ecommerce. Online sales were predicted to grow from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021, and that was before the pandemic. In response, some CRE investors moved away from retail. Hedge funds found CRE bundles with a high proportion of mall loans and bet against them. Then came the pandemic. Click to read more at www.pioneerrealtycapital.com.