Family lifecycle: a key factor for shopping centres

Posted On Wednesday, 08 February 2012 02:00 Published by
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A guide for shopping centres: key issues in maintaining a competitive edge in tough times

It goes without saying: In difficult trading conditions, shopping centres must do all they can to ensure they remain ahead of competitors.
Mark Souris, Managing Director of Periscopic Property Management says “Shopping centres need to keep up with the times, both in terms of aesthetics and the tenants they present to consumers. The correct mix of tenants that appeals to the surrounding community is essential. This is borne out of evidence that while many centres continue to battle in the wake of the recession positive results still can be achieved.”

According to Souris centres should consider the demographics in the catchment areas they serve. The family lifecycle is a key factor when it comes to deciding your tenant mix and entertainment offerings. If the surrounding community is made up of older people whose children have long since moved on to establish their own households, the centre is not required to cater to young shoppers who love spending time in trendy shops.

Other factors such as the newness of the centre must also be considered. Shopping centres that were once largely ignored by consumers have had a new lease on life following refurbishments. Often this gives them a chance to reposition, appealing to a different segment of the market.
Souris says, “Something else to bear in mind is how the centre fits into the lifestyle of customers. Many shoppers today prefer to stock up on necessities as they need them rather than do one large monthly shop. This is particularly true of neighbourhood centres.
“This means that people shop more, but spend less. Shopping patterns will inform retailers and centre managers on both the type of goods purchased and how to effectively display them. It is critical that the centres’ retailers are always stocked with basic essentials and items that are in high demand. Often, people go shopping solely to purchase such products, so maintaining a good store will ensure repeat visits. On the other hand, if shoppers are disappointed one time too many, they will make their purchases elsewhere.”

Souris observes that a number of new centres are opening in areas that appear to be already saturated with mall options. There’s no question that such centres will take market share from each other – so, again, the answer lies in securing a tenant mix that speaks directly to the community shopping needs that the centre serves.

Publisher: eProp
Source: PC

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