经济学人精读 | 英国的商业地产

本期精读来自The Economist关于英国商业地产的文章Retail parks are well-placed to weather lockdowns

疫情发生后很多线下店都受到了很大冲击,但有一种线下店成了例外:零售公园(retail park)。所谓的“零售公园”是指位于市郊的大型购物中心,这种购物中心在英国和欧洲一些国家比较常见。这些零售公园店铺面积很大,有利于保持社交距离和通风,因此受到了消费者和投资者的欢迎。这篇文章对这一趋势进行了介绍。

转自“英文悦读”

文章几个标题都写得不错,Clicks and mortar改编自bricks and mortar(房产,实体店),click字面意思是“鼠标的点击”,这里Clicks and mortar可以理解为“线上和线下”。

Retail parks are well-placed to weather lockdowns这里weather是一词多义,意思是“平安度过(难关),经受住”。

In a post-pandemic world, out of town and out of doors is a winning combination. 这里out of town, out of doors 两个结构相似,读起来有美感,同时它们巧妙地表达了零售公园“位于市郊”以及“位于室外,减少社交接触”这两大优点。下面是关于文章的详细分析:

Times were tough for offline retail before covid-19. Rising costs and tepid sales growth had squeezed margins; online shopping was filching market share. According to the Centre for Retail Research, an analytics firm, by early 2020 high streets had around 50,000 fewer shops than a decade before, a drop of 13%.

在新冠疫情之前,线下零售业的日子很艰难。上升的成本以及增长乏力的销售额挤压了利润率;网上购物正在蚕食市场份额。根据分析机构“零售研究中心”的数据,到2020年初,英国商业街的店铺比十年前减少了约5万家,下降了13%。

(1)filch意思相当于steal,即“偷”,这是一个非正式表达,用在这里可以增加文章的可读性。

(2)high street指的是“(位于重要商业区的)大街,商业街”,the high street也可以指“商业活动”,比如:There are signs of economic recovery in the high street. 商业方面有经济复苏的迹象。

Then the pandemic struck. During the first lockdown, customer numbers for all retail locations plummeted. In-town shopping centres were the worst hit and slowest to bounce back: data from another analytics firm, Springboard, show that footfall in the first week of June was 22% below that in the same week in 2019. But amid the gloom, there is a bright spot. Visitor numbers for out-of-town retail parks were hit far less hard, and have recovered to 3% below their pre-pandemic level.

然后,疫情来袭。在第一次封城期间,所有零售点的顾客人数急剧下降。市内购物中心受到的冲击最大,恢复得也最慢:另一家分析公司Springboard的数据显示,6月第一周的人流量比2019年同一周低22%。但在这一片经济低迷中也有一个亮点。城外零售公园的顾客数量受到的冲击要小得多,这一数字已经恢复到比疫情前低3%的水平。

(1)footfall指的是我们常说的“客流量”,比如:Footfall is an important indicator of how successful a company’s advertising is at bringing people into its shops. 客流量是说明一家公司做广告吸引顾客有多成功的重要指标。

(2)bright spot意思是“(不幸或逆境中的)可喜部份,闪光点”,我们可以使用该表达来说明逆境中令人感到欣慰的事物,比如疫情让全球经济遭到重创,但一个让人感到欣慰的事情是在线教育得到了巨大发展,我们可以说:

The world economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, but the bright spot is that online education has seen explosive growth in the past year.

Property investors have noticed. According to Savills, an estate agent, rental yields on shopping centres and high-street stores were rising before the pandemic, but the pace accelerated during it, meaning that the market is demanding a higher return on assets it perceives as riskier. Yields for retail warehouses have been falling since September 2020. Acquisitions tell a similar story: buyers have spent £900m ($1.3bn) snapping up retail parks so far in 2021, but only £280m on shopping centres.

房地产投资者已经注意到了(这一趋势)。据房产中介商第一太平戴维斯称,购物中心和商业街店铺的租金收益率在疫情之前就在上升,但在疫情期间上升的速度加快了,这意味着市场要求对其认为风险较大的资产提供更高的回报。自2020年9月以来,零售仓库的收益率一直在下降。企业收购的情况也是如此:2021年至今,买家已经花费9亿英镑(13亿美元)抢购零售公园,但只有2.8亿英镑用于购物中心。

(1)…the market is demanding a higher return on assets it perceives as riskier 这里是定语从句省略了that,相当于…the market is demanding a higher return on assets (that) it perceives as riskier

(2)XX tells a similar story可以用来指XX与上面提到的情况一样,如果是不一样的情况可以说XX tells a different story,比如:He said he wasn’t at the scene of the crime, but the fingerprints tell a different story.

In part, they reason that retail parks will do better in a world reshaped by the pandemic. Shoppers feel safer in outlets visited by car rather than public transport, and where moving between shops happens out of doors. Outlets in retail parks are larger, which helps with social distancing and ventilation. Moreover, they are stuffed with the sorts of shops that have boomed during the pandemic: supermarkets, pet-supply stores and those selling everything needed for the home, from plants and paint to futons and fridges.

在某种程度上,他们认为在一个被疫情重塑的世界里,零售公园会表现得更好。对于那些需要驾车而不是乘坐公共交通工具就能到达的商店,消费者会感到更安全,而且从一家店到另一家店需要通过室外通道,这样也能增加安全感。零售公园内的店铺更大,这有助于保持社交距离和通风。此外,零售公园里面还充斥着在疫情期间蓬勃发展的各种商店:超市、宠物用品店以及那些销售家庭必需品的商店,这些商店销售的东西从植物和油漆到床垫和冰箱,应有尽有。

(1)要表达“某个地方乘车/乘坐公共交通可以到达”,我们可以借鉴文中的说法XX can be visited by car/ public transport,在发展类话题中也可以用上该表达,比如:

Thanks to China’s infrastructure projects, many remote rural villages can now be visited by car.

(2)…outlets visited by car…and where moving between shops happens out of doors 这句话还原后相当于…outlets (that are) visited by car…and (outlets) where moving between shops happens out of doors

(3)…from plants and paint to futons and fridges, 这里plants/paint, futons/fridges都压了头韵,体现了音韵美,同时,from A and B to C and D是一个在举例的时候可以用上的句型,比如:

Due to generation gap, there can be considerable disagreement between parents and their children, from hair styles and musical tastes to eating habits and sleeping patterns.

But the pandemic is not the only reason retail parks are outperforming. They are much better placed than their high-street counterparts to survive the rise of internet shopping. People buying white goods, furniture and furnishings want to see and touch them before shelling out cash. Vast shop floors and good road access mean they can double as distribution centres. And they are ideal for “click and collect”, the fastest-growing form of online shopping. Expect investors’ enthusiasm to outlast lockdowns.

但疫情并不是零售公园表现出色的唯一原因。在网络购物兴起的背景下,它们的生存能力比起商业街上的同行们更强。人们在购买白色家电、家具和室内陈设时都想要在掏钱之前就能看到和摸到它们。宽阔的店面和良好的道路交通意味着它们还可以作为分销中心。它们是“线上下单线下取货“的理想选择(这是增长最快的一种网上购物形式)。我们可以预测投资者对零售公园的热情会超过封城期。

(1)从这里我们可以学到一个句型:A is better placed than B to do something,意思是“A比B在做某事上更有优势”,比如:

With one of the world’s highest smartphone penetration rates and advanced information technology, China is better placed than its western counterparts to create a cashless society.

(2)shell out意思相当于to spend a lot of money on something,比如我们可以说:

It is not uncommon to see young people shell out for their idols’ concert tickets.

(3)click and collect相当于“线上下单线下自提”,click字面意思是“鼠标的点击”,引申为“线上”。

(4)Expect investors’ enthusiasm to outlast lockdowns. 这一句采用了口语化的说法显得更加生动,它补充完整后相当于 (We should) expect investors’ enthusiasm to outlast lockdowns.

本篇文章我们学习了以下表达:

(1) bright spot
(2) XX tells a similar/different story
(3) XX can be visited by car/ public transport
(4) from A and B to C and D
(5) A is better placed than B to do something
(6) shell out

推荐各位同学使用这些表达造句以加深印象。