Chris Beasleigh is the national director of retail sales and leasing at commercial property specialist company JLL. He shares some thoughts on the retail property market in 2015, and what retailers should expect for 2016.
1. Who’s your pick for retail “personality” of the year? Who’s someone who stood out and made some bold and smart moves?
New Zealand based clothing company, I Love Ugly, definitely stood out in the media recently when their jewellery line advertising campaign came under fire. However, the brand has been extremely fast growing and has employed some smart moves through positioning and aligning themselves with global trends. JLL’s retail team found space for I Love Ugly on Osborne St in Newmarket and the menswear store has since grown to four flagship stores in New Zealand in addition to Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles.
2. Which retail company stood out in 2015?
New Zealand owned food and beverage operator Tank have been a huge success and are experiencing an aggressive growth phase with over 50 stores across the country, 10 of which our retail team have found suitable space for in the last year alone.
3. Who are some ones to watch in 2016?
Global fast fashion brands are the ones to watch in 2016, some of which have already been announced, H&M and Zara etc. We also expect to see a number of international food retailers enter the market such as Jamie’s Italian, TGI Friday, Meat Fish Wine, Hooters and Hard Rock Café. JLL’s retail team are searching for more sites for Gong Cha and PappaRich in the New Year.
4. Who are some great smaller town/regional retailers who punched above their weight?
We are currently searching for an Auckland location for Flex Fitness, a great fast growing Kiwi gym franchise, who have expanded regionally throughout the North Island.
5. What property area in New Zealand was the most interesting/dynamic for retail and why?
Queen Street retail has transformed, becoming a new hub of luxury retailers in Auckland. The small town centre of Takapuna has also been rejuvenated with new retail developments and refurbishments bringing in better quality tenants.
6. What issues/ideas should retailers have at the front of their mind for 2016?
Keeping control of costs is an issue that many retailers need to keep front of mind and mirroring global trends locally will ensure they keep ahead of the game. Omnichannel retailing is becoming essential, getting online, apps and bricks and mortar to work seamlessly.