Latest research shows F&B picking up the slack from failing fashion

Shopping centre managers JLL have revealed their latest centre management survey, which shows that many of the vacancies left by failing fashion vendors are being filled by food and beverage operations, including pubs and hotels.

A majority of Centre Managers commented in the survey on the positive impact that store refurbishments by anchor and specialty tenants was having on leasing success, foot traffic and sales performance.

JLL’s Director of Retail Research, Andrew Quillfeldt said, “Food and Beverage retailers continue to drive leasing enquiry, with 52% of Centre Managers stating that enquiry levels remain the same or stronger than the previous survey.

“It is worth noting that the proportion has softened from previous surveys though, down from 66% in December 2017 and June 2017.

“Enquiry remains subdued in the Jewellery and Homewares categories, with over half of all Centre Managers reporting enquiry as very weak. Clothing and footwear retailer enquiry improved slightly from the previous survey in February, but remains in line with levels reported over the past few years where 74% of respondents reported enquiry was weak or very weak.

“Centre Managers also noted higher incentives were required to secure a new tenant for specialty stores given that tenants are being more selective about where they choose to open new stores.

“Supermarkets are driving total centre MAT growth in neighbourhood and sub-regional centres, with specialty store MAT remaining subdued across the portfolio. The recent improvement in supermarket sales growth was noted by Centre Managers, with 15% commenting on the strong performance of a supermarket within their centre,” said Mr Quillfeldt.

JLL’s Head of Property & Asset Management – Australia, Richard Fennell said, “The Survey showed that 42% of JLL Centre Managers made a positive comment about the recent performance of their centres in relation to an improvement in sales trends, tenant sentiment, foot traffic and/or leasing enquiry.

“We view this as a positive result for the general outlook for the performance of shopping centres.”

JLL’s 19th Retail Centre Managers’ Survey was undertaken in August across 88 JLL-managed retail shopping centres nationally. The majority of centres were neighbourhood and sub-regional centres.

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