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Is there still a place for fashion retail in malls?

  • Property
  • April 19, 2018
  • John Lenihan
Is there still a place for fashion retail in malls?

Malls appear to be refocusing their tenant mix around hospitality, entertainment, and services, says John Lenihan.

This change is partly because traditional fashion tenants have expressed concerns about unsustainable rents and have also experienced declining performance within mall locations. Subsequently, they are shutting stores.

Baby boomers are the staple, but ageing mall customers.

They are not being replaced by younger generations who are instead shopping online, and spending more on hospitality and services, and also outside of malls.

The problem with hospitality and services for landlords is that they have lower turnover and can’t pay the big rents. A $10 spend on coffee and a muffin doesn’t match up to a $150 dress, so with stagnating visitation, rental growth cannot continue without serious change.

Kiwi Property and Scentre Group, which operate the major regional malls in New Zealand, seem to be tackling the problem by bringing in new brands and pushing existing tenants to expand across their malls.

But retailers are pushing back.

Premier Investments, which owns Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Just Jeans, Portmans, Jay Jays, Jacquie E, Dotti, and a big chunk of Myers, has threatened to close more mall stores if landlords don’t give them cheaper rents and capital incentives. It simply wants rents to reflect store performance and overall mall performance. It shut 80 existing stores in the last five years for this reason alone; this is despite it opening over 260 new stores, and having some very successful brands.

What seems key to both malls and retail stores is that an environment with a unique personality driven by design, research and innovation is key to attracting customers and driving sales growth. As the saying goes ‘you can’t keep putting lipstick on the pig’.

This story originally appeared on RCG.

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Debunking diversity myths surrounding hiring practises

  • Opinion
  • May 24, 2018
  • Rose Lu
Debunking diversity myths surrounding hiring practises

Flick Electric software engineer Rose Lu has often been the sole woman or sole non-white person in the room in her career, and recently assisted with Flick's hiring process for new engineers. Here, she shares some key learnings on how to hire for diversity – and how to get around the obstacles that often pop up.

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Retail NZ calls for national rules around Easter trading

  • News
  • May 22, 2018
Retail NZ calls for national rules around Easter trading

A recent report carried out by Retail NZ has shown that council changes surrounding Easter trading was well received by both shoppers and workers. The report shows a strong lean towards councils opting to allow retailers to open or not during the holiday.

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Kiwi Property gains altitude in annual report

  • News
  • May 21, 2018
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An ongoing ability to connect with customers on a social level has been hailed as one of the reasons for Kiwi Property’s impressive financial growth for the last year. The report shows a record $1.8 billion in retail sales across the portfolio.

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