New home sales on the urban periphery create demand for shopping centers to serve the new households at the same time that urban centers appear to be getting stronger across the globe. In the past decade, housing growth in and around central business districts has generated demand for shop space of all types. Independents and small chain outlets are well suited to these markets, but traditional big-box retailers are modifying their standard store dimensions and features to establish beachheads. Their strategies include smaller footprints, multiple stories, structured parking, carefully targeted merchandise, designs that are sensitive to the existing streetscape, and participation in mixed-use projects, which can affect investor demand depending on how the projects are laid out.
Besides expanding across the globe and into densely developed neighborhoods, major retailers are courting ethnic households. Perth property valuation companies this growth strategy includes establishing outlets in trade areas with a high percentage of ethnic shoppers and tailoring merchandise selection and services to meet their tastes. In downtown Los Angeles, for example, Hispanic shoppers throng the sidewalks, allowing landlords to charge some of the highest front-foot rents in the world.
In the late 1990s, common wisdom suggested that online retail sales would rather quickly decimate store sales. Analysts made and lost reputations besting each other on how quickly merchandise showrooms and fulfilment centres would replace shopping centres. This, along with perpetual competition among retailers, drove shopping centres to the bottom of investors’ buy lists.