JLL's national director of retail Chris Beasleigh on the year that was

  • Property
  • December 23, 2016
  • Elly Strang
JLL's national director of retail Chris Beasleigh on the year that was

Who’s your pick for retail “personality” of the year? Who’s someone that made clever, calculated moves and excelled above their peers?

Rod Duke, group managing director at Briscoes. They’re trading exceptionally well and have gone from strength to strength since Duke took over in 1988. Clearly Briscoes has adapted as New Zealanders’ tastes and shopping habits have changed over the years, and that’s why it is still so successful today.

Which retail companies stood out in 2016?

Nazar Group for their F&B brands. Alex and Nigar have had an incredible year, opening their fabulous all-day eatery Devon on the Wharf, another Casablanca in the Stage 2 development at NorthWest Shopping Centre and in December they’ve just opened Miss Istanbul at Ponsonby Central.

Which retailers on the rise are ones to watch in 2017?

H&M. Now that the brand has landed in Auckland, we expect to see it expand rapidly in this country. The H&M Group has more than 4,200 stores in 64 markets, so they’re unlikely to stop at one in New Zealand. The question is, where to next?

What property area in New Zealand was the most interesting and dynamic for retail and why?

Auckland, because it’s really coming of age as a truly international city. We now have retail offerings to tempt any serious shopper and a constantly evolving retail scene. There’s always something new to experience, particularly in the food and beverage sector – think specialty burgers, artisan bakers and niche ethnic restaurants. And of course, Auckland is the first stop for many an international retailer entering the New Zealand market - so it’s been an exciting year.

What issues should retailers have at front of mind for 2017?

Funding is a big one. The banks have pulled back in terms of what they will lend, so it’s important to make sure you have planned for the long term and have funding secured before you expand. That’s true not just for landlords, but tenants too.

Where will be the most interesting areas for retail property in 2017?

Auckland and Queenstown. Both cities are seeing huge growth thanks to the booming tourism industry. No doubt we’ll see many more interesting retail offerings spring up to appeal to the flood of visitors. We have a ‘frustrated development’ scenario in the hotel sector, where developers can’t respond to the favourable market conditions quick enough because of labour and resource constraints. That’s particularly true for both Auckland and Queenstown. 

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