MacroPlan Retail Series: Seeking and understanding data

It can be argued that the retail environment is changing at faster pace than ever before.  The implications to physical property will be very significant. Over the next few months, MacroPlan will unpack five key trends that will impact the future of the retail property sector.

For this month's trend we talk about the increasing movement of retail property owners better understanding the market place through quality data.

Trend three: Seeking and understanding data

You own a shopping centre. You can see sales plateauing or slipping. Vacancy is creeping in. You can see your competitors changing, adding, investing, remodeling, marketing.

What do you do?

You get your team together. Centre management, asset management, design, leasing, development and project management. The decision has been made. It’s time to do something. ‘Do nothing’ is no longer an option.

But stop to think. How well do you really know the centre? How well do you really understand your trading environment?

How well do you know who shops at your centre? Is it changing? What is the future for the area? What challenges will your centre face in the 5, 10, 15 years from today?

There may be more and more Asian shoppers in your centre. They may be spending less or more time in your centre and demanding different products and services. You may be in a trade area attracting a higher rate of seniors. Or more households with single parents.

You need this data to inform your redevelopment path. You need it to offer the best opportunity to attract the shopper and maximise visitation and spend. You might need it to create or offer that point of difference that is going to contrast your centre from the others.

How well do you really know your competitors? Do you know their sales and the sales trends? Their challenges? What are their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

Here at MacroPlan we provide the context. We give you the numbers, the research, the data. We have 30 years of Australian shopping centre data to draw from. There is hardly a centre or well-known retail precinct in Australia we have not studied. We can provide the platform to inform your decisions. We help predict the future and underpin your investment decisions.

You may have a 150sqm medical centre. We can undertake a gap analysis of the local trade area that maps and details the medical operators in the area and supports the case for the medical centre increasing to 400sqm and adding an 80sqm dentist in two years’ time. This is key information for centre future proofing. And can be used in your leasing teams’ marketing efforts.

We have recently undertaken two major research pieces for institutional clients. Both provided views on present day conditions impacting their centres, but also looked far in to the future. For the first, we examined a number of national and local trends including macro-economic, population, socio-economic, employment, wages, transport and workplace trends. This gave our client a lens into the future to help inform their longer term investment decisions across their asset classes, not just retail.

The second one focused on the future of non-retail. They wanted to better understand how their retail property assets might look in 10-20 years’ time. What proportion of them will be made up of non-traditional retail uses – medical and medical ancillary, childcare or entertainment, for instance.

Protect your centre’s rent and asset value, know your drivers, know how to make the changes to ‘defend the spend’ and maximise its potential.

[hr]You can read MacroPlan’s first article in it’s retail series: Integrated and mixed use development trend here.

You can read MacroPlan's second article in it's retail series: Food – the saving grace of Australian retail here.


Author: Warwick Turpin General Manager – Retail