Shopping centres could welcome e-sports, virtual reality
Competitive e-sports spaces, VR experiences and a quick commute to a co-working space could become part of your shopping experience as malls look to fill the gap created by department store downsizing.
Department store chains including Myer, David Jones, Target and Big W have revealed plans to reduce the number of stores across the country.
Downsizing and consolidation will reduce required floorspace by up to 1.5 million square metres, or a third of their total network floorspace, according to data from JLL Research.
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Over the next three to seven years, shopping centre management, particularly in regional and subregional areas, will be facing an estimated 769,200sqm of vacant space, which equates to 7.1% of existing stock.
While a challenge, JLL’s joint head of retail investments, Sam Hatcher, says it could also be an opportunity for owners.
“A more creative and flexible approach to changing the tenant profile and introducing new space uses will be required to transform and evolve shopping centres,” he says.
“Despite the repurposing of space requiring capex and downtime, it also provides the chance for landlords to introduce new retailers, potentially driving an uplift in rental income, along with value-add opportunities through exploring alternate uses.”
Diversification of assets to better engage customers could be a way forward. Alternatives such as e-sports or VR experience centres were floated by JLL as potential investments.
Depending on location and layout, co-working spaces, hotels, and childcare and healthcare centres would also provide revenue.
This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.