Refurbishment seen as key to trading success

A swathe of shopping centre managers have reported that centre refurbishments are the key to retail success in a competitive market, with 42 per cent of respondents in a recent study saying that refurbishments, particularly by specialist and anchor tenants, paid their way in higher sales, tennant sentiment, leasing and foot traffic.

JLL’s 19th annual Retail Centre Managers Survey, which was conducted in August across 88 JLL-managed properties, shows that food and beverage operators continue to be stand-out performers and important drivers of leasing inquiries.

The centre managers generally tended to be optimistic about factors within their control – such as refurbishments and tenant remix – while more negative about external factors such as fuel prices.

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JLL’s head of property and asset management for Australia, Richard Fennell, said, “the survey showed that 42 per cent of JLL centre managers made a positive comment about the recent performance of their centres. We view this as a positive result for the general outlook for the performance of shopping centres.”

Director of retail research Andrew Quillfeldt said that inquiry remained “subdued in the jewellery and homewares categories. Clothing and footwear retailer inquiry improved slightly from the previous survey in February, but remained in line with levels reported over the past few years.

“Centre managers also noted that higher incentives were required to secure a new tenant for specialty stores, given that tenants are being more selective about where they choose to open new stores,” said Quillfeldt.

“Supermarkets are driving total centre MAT [moving annual turnover] growth in neighbourhood and sub-regional centres, with specialty store MAT remaining subdued across the portfolio,” he said.

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