Total retail sales in Taiwan dipped by 0.3% y-o-y to NT$711 billion in January and February combined. The decline was mainly due to lacklustre sales of automobiles and mobile phones. However, core retail sales excluding automobiles and gasoline increased by 1.7% y-o-y in January and February combined, supported by the healthy performance of the general merchandise retailing sector and increased clothing consumption around Chinese New Year.

Retail rents in Taipei fell by 1.58% q-o-q in Q1 2019 due to further declines in rents at stores along Zhongxiao East Road. A number of retailers shuttered their stores in the area during the quarter, pushing up average vacancy to a record high of 15.6%.

Average high street rents in Taipei could continue their downward trend in the near term as landlords in Zhongxiao East Road lower rents to fill vacant space.