Shopping saturation.jpg

Shopping saturation


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THE BOOM in new shopping centres over the past decade could be nearing an end according to a new survey by retail development consultants Cushman & Wakefield.

At the third annual Retail Conference in Lisbon on Friday, delegates from the Portuguese retail world heard that although only 37 per cent of retailers thought there was more space for shopping centres in the market – against 70 per cent in 2007 and 80 per cent in 2005 – it was difficult to say how far the financial crisis was responsible for that opinion among retailers.

Presenting their report, Sandra Campos and Marta Leote, Directors of Retailing at Cushman & Wakefield in Lisbon, found that 40 per cent of retailers believed that family debt was affecting trade while 30 per cent thought there had been a fall in consumer confidence.

Competition was also stronger (88 per cent) against 75 per cent who thought so in 2007, while only 35 per cent of retailers expected a positive result in 2009, against 75 per cent last year.

As the number of shopping centres had mushroomed in the past few years, new projects would have to be extremely well thought out while moderation and reduction strategy were the key words.

One way for both retailers and shopping centre developers to buck the crisis was to examine the potential for expansion and growth in other emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and Brazil.

However, despite the crisis, retailers didn’t expect the downturn to be prolonged as 60 per cent were optimistic of increasing their network of shops in the medium term.

Shopping centres still continue to be the preferential format for expansion in Portugal with factory outlet shops garnering preference for 15 per cent of those asked and traditional high street shopping a possibility for a future comeback.

One third of all retailers thought that leisure facilities were an anchor to entice people into shopping centres to spend money, while the most popular shopping centres in Portugal were still Colombo, Norte Shopping, CascaisShopping, Vasco da Gama, Oeiras Park, Amoreiras and Almada Forum.

‘Location, Location, Location’ would still continue to be the maxim in any kind of retail development while Yvonne Court, Head of EMEA Retail Research C&W, believed that retailers and shopping centres had to wake up to the Silver Shopper, a new generation of elderly and retired shoppers who thought and acted 10 years younger and had higher expectations and different shopping patterns from the previous generation.

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