Re-positioning Shopping Centres for improved performance in today’s retail market

Shopping Centres that fail to understand and meet the needs of their catchment areas are struggling to find tenants and forgoing revenue.


The shopping habits of consumers have evolved sharply in recent years, largely due to the enforced isolation periods invoked during COVID.


Mass adoption of online shopping challenged traditional bricks and mortar shopping centres. Now, post-COVID, a new normal in consumer spending habits has emerged.


Landlords and owners who fail to recognise changes in the post-COVID market are witnessing their revenue erode as tenant vacancy spreads into the long term, quality of tenants declines, visitation numbers decrease, and sales plummet.


The New Normal
The new evolution of consumer spending habits is a combined use of both online shopping and face-to-face shopping centre experiences that focus on experiential and convenient venue offerings.


Customers have demonstrated that they are not willing to move to 100% online shopping. When they venture into a shopping centre environment, they want the space to meet their convenience needs through the ability to get in and out quickly and park easily as well as enjoy family entertainment and dining options.


Handler Property Managing Director, Nick Kelly, said the key to success is understanding both consumer expectations and the needs of tenants.


“Traditional bricks and mortar shopping centres need to evolve to accommodate tenants that now engage with their customers differently.


“Tenants want retail space that provides access to their customer base at the right rent, with appropriate floor area and a design aesthetic that enhances their brand,” Nick said.


“They are running omni-channel businesses now which means their floor space must complement their online offering and vice versa their online marketing initiatives need to drive traffic to the retail floor.


“For owners and landlords this affects decision making from design to the practicalities of providing access to delivery platforms so tenants can easily use services like Uber Eats, Deliveroo and pick-up or click-and-collect style services,” Nick said.


Generation Z and Millennials are becoming a growing influence in the retail market. To understand what and how they are buying, retail management must look further than traditional research and engage new powerful tactics such as analysing social media to define catchment needs.

Holistic Retail Management Solutions that Add Value
Handler Property creates customised retail leasing and management solutions by understanding the attributes of each asset, the demographic and competitive environment, and defining a clear intention.


Each property is unique and any solution must consider the following:

  1. Customer needs of catchment area
  2. Tenant requirements to meet customer needs
  3. Performance goals
  4. Purpose of the shopping centre


Handler Property then pursues a re-positioning strategy that includes targeting its network of top quality tenants and creating value-adding initiatives that provide sustainable long term success.

Case Study – Morayfield Super Centre
Handler Property devoted three senior leasing agents to the Morayfield Super Centre as soon as it was appointed in April 2020.


The Centre was struggling with a significant long term vacancy that equated to 5,350sqm of the floor area.


After analysing the client, customer and tenants needs, Handler Property executed a re-positioned marketing strategy that led to the following success:

  • Leased 20 speciality and large format retail spaces
  • Achieved 99% of retail floor area now leased
  • 80% of tenants are multi-site covenants including quality national brands such as Planet Fitness, TK Maxx, Reject Shop and Super Butcher
  • Pad site leased to add value with two further pad sites leased and coming online in FY24
  • Additional $3,074,152 of gross rental income achieved


Nick Kelly said that Handler Property’s unique agency model and understanding of re-positioning has made it a leader in the industry.


“We focus on preserving the long-term value of each asset.


“This is achieved by investing in the reimagination of a retail offering to ensure it is operationally and aesthetically attractive to the modern retail tenant and customer market,” Nick said.


Handler Property’s ability to ensure their client’s future success, is pivotal in pushing them into the position of market leader.


Find out more about retail leasing and advisory services here.