Grant Unsworth, the national director for retail services at CBRE New Zealand, says the results are encouraging for bricks and mortar retailers.
“Online retailing is a well-known trend,” Unsworth says.
“However, what our survey illustrates is the ongoing relevance of bricks and mortar, particularly among lower income brackets and those aged 18 to 34.”
He says large proportions of those surveyed said they intend to spend more online in the next two years, including the 55 to 64 age bracket (19 percent).
“However, what is surprising is the positive sentiment shown towards bricks and mortar shopping among the younger age groups,” he says.
The survey was conducted to find out what consumers want from their shopping experience for non-food items.
It found the most important factors consumers consider when choosing where to go shopping are the price of products, cleanliness and convenience to travel to.
Head of research for CBRE NZ, Zoltan Moricz, says shopping centres must continue to offer an attractive reason to visit, such as plenty of parking.
The survey found 85 percent of New Zealanders travel to a shopping centre in their car.
“Given the importance of parking revealed in the survey, centre owners need to carefully explore their options in balancing highest and best land uses with an enhanced and stress-free customer experience,” Moricz says.
He says retailers that have “clicks and bricks” strategies that allow their business to work online and offline will have an advantage.
“Consumers’ ongoing fondness for online shopping means centres could adapt and implement technology-based innovations to continue to capture customers,” he says.
Moricz says this could include shopping centre apps and using social media platforms to connect with shoppers.
Half of the survey responds said that the overall experience is something they think about when choosing where to shop.
Unsworth says physical retailers need to “place-make” and create an experience to challenge online shopping’s popularity.
“Shopping centres now must be an attractive place to meet and gather – providing an important social role in the community, which is something online shopping can never compete with,” he says.