When you take on an involvement in a new retail shopping centre, you need to assess the tenancy mix as it applies to the local community and the expected changes in local shopping demographics. Here are some ideas from our Retail Management and Leasing Newsletter for Agents.
Throughout the retail trading year, there will be changes that have impact on the property and the retail trade. Landlords and tenants within shopping centres need to work together given their vested interests in the success of the overall property.
The sooner you can assess the tenancy mix, the more effective you will be in optimising the future of lease negotiations and market rentals. The property business plan will help you in establishing benchmarks and targets.
So let’s look at some factors that can apply in assessing the tenant placement and tenant mix around the retail shopping centre:
- Look at the property from the outside and move towards the centre. Visualise yourself as a shopper in the local community. Drive to the property and assess the experience of road access and car park usage. After doing that, repeat the process with the public transport services that apply to the local area and integrate with property usage. Lastly, you should access the property from alternative transport modes such as walking and taxi’s. From all of these aspects you will see strengths and weaknesses that apply to customer access. Some of these things can be responded to in a positive way to improve the customer experience immediately. Make it easier for customers to get to your property and enjoy the experience.
- When customers reach your property, they will be entering from a number of entrance doorways. All of the doorways to the property should have traffic foot counters installed. In this way you will know where people prefer to enter and leave the property. You will also have patterns of shopping access at different times of day and on different days of the week. The counters should be monitored on a daily basis.
- As a direct follow-through from the previous item, you will then know where the majority of people come from and how they get into the property. These facts will give you priority points within the tenancy mix for high profile smaller or specialty tenants. The higher traffic areas and turning points within the tenancy mix should be reserved for smaller tenancies with broad customer interest.
- The common areas within the property will be important for customer service and congregation. These common areas should be well maintained and welcoming. In this way you will be encouraging people to stay within the property and enjoy the experience of shopping. Take a survey approach to all factors of the common area on a regular basis including washrooms, seating areas, malls, and food courts. Look for any weaknesses or matters that require upgrade. Presentation is everything in a retail property.
The success of your retail tenancy mix will be driven from careful planning and strategic process. It takes time to develop a good tenancy mix so set your plans early and integrate those plans into the lease negotiations if and when they arise.
Look at any spare space or under utilised space that can be used for smaller tenancies and further income generation. The shopping experience should be encouraged through diversity and broad customer appeal. Make sure that your existing tenancy mix provides the best quality of services and products to their customers.
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