The agency says co-locating housing with malls is an idea that has been considered before, but it’s gaining traction as demand, particularly in the Auckland area, increases.
Shopping centres could get more bang for their buck by adding a residential facet.
The concept may also help to transform shopping centres into town centres that are a destination for shoppers.
RCG says The Warehouse Group, Pakaranga and Milford Mall are considering making this a reality.
A document released by retail development company NZRPG says that Milford is well suited for residential intensification, as it’s well placed near transport and motorway infrastructure, jobs and schools.
“The inclusion of a residential component within the confines of the existing Milford town centre will add vigour both to the social fabric of the town and the business community,” the document says.
Pictured: Artists depictions of Milford Mall with apartments
RCG director Des Wai says the profit generated for a mall from a move to residential would be huge.
“Milford Mall could have around 200 apartments and generate $30 million in profit for its owner,” Wai says.
“We could see hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of residential development above shopping centres in the next 10-20 years.”
Other trends predicted are retail outlets emerging at transport hubs.
RCG says “travel retail” (retailing in airports or transport hubs) is a well-established trend overseas, but New Zealand is just starting to catch up.
Airports are on top of the trend in New Zealand, it says, but trains, bus stations, and motorway service centres aren’t yet engaging in it.
As well as this, technology developments will help shoppers shop smarter.
The report says to expect features such as guided navigation and personal recommendations when arriving at a mall, as tracking data will optimise and experiment with store layouts and retail experience.