Scentre Group’s first quarter update shows that bricks and mortar stores are still holding strong – in malls at least. Its Westfield malls’ sales in New Zealand grew almost six percent in the first three months of 2015. The nine malls are worth $1.9 billion, with retail sales hitting more than $10,000 per square metre.
The owner and operator of Westfield malls announced an annual turnover in New Zealand of $2.3 billion.
The nine centres have 1410 stores operating within them.
Five of the malls are joint ventures with the Singaporean Government Investment Corporation and four are wholly owned, but the company says it’s keen to sell the four wholly owned malls.
The four centres it wants to sell are located in Henderson and Glenfield in Auckland, in Chartwell in Hamilton and Queensgate in Wellington’s Lower Hutt.
Specialty retail sales in New Zealand grew 2.8 percent in the last year and 5.9 percent in the last three months.
Comparing sales growth, “majors” (such as supermarkets) grew 2.4 percent in New Zealand in the past 12 months. Mini majors (such as JB Hi-Fi) grew 0.9 percent.
Scentre Group says state-of-the-art wifi will be rolled out at 26 centres by the end of this year, but doesn’t confirm if any are in New Zealand.
It’s also launched a SmartScreen network, which is an in-house digital advertising network of 1200 digital displays across its stores.
CEO Peter Allen says this will create a new, sophisticated channel to connect with shoppers.
As for development opportunities, it says there is potential to develop its three Auckland-based malls in Albany, Newmarket and St Lukes.