Retail is important. Not only for the economy, but also for the health of towns and cities on every continent. In Europe, retail accounts for more than a quarter of all commercial real estate. However, going to a physical shop is no longer the only way to acquire the things we want. The growth of online shopping has already transformed the world’s largest retail markets, and will continue to do so, but commercial centres still have a vital role to play as we move towards an "experience economy".