Investor interest in shopping centres set to increaseDecember 21st, 2012 Category: Building Management
A number of eye-catching transactions have taken place in the UK's shopping centre market in the last few months.
For instance, Norges Hall recently spent £762.5 million on Sheffield's Meadowhall, while F&C REIT secured the Lanes Shopping Centre in Carlisle.
Naysayers and doom mongers have been suggesting for some time that the days of physical retail outlets are numbered, since many consumers are spending their money online instead.
But some will argue that developments such as these show a market in rude health, with investors still keen to snap up prime assets across the country.
They wouldn't be doing this unless there was a healthy number of shoppers still going to shopping centres and set to keep going there for the foreseeable future.
Knight Frank is certainly confident about the future of the shopping centre investment market, as it is expecting to see a "gradual recovery" during 2013.
Indeed, investor demand for prime and highly quality units is set to increase, while interest in secondary stock is also likely to head upwards.
However, the onus will certainly be on shopping centre operators to make sure they offer a unique and tempting proposition to consumers, as the competition posed by the internet isn't going away.
So what can they do to keep people coming back again and again?
Staying on top of a shopping centre's maintenance and cleanliness needs would certainly be one good idea.
After all, anywhere with high footfall is likely to attract dirt and grime, as well as some graffiti and chewing gum on surfaces.
Bringing in specialist cleaning professionals can stop this from becoming a problem, so a shopping centre can stay spick and span all year round.
Online shopping offers convenience and speed to consumers these days, so physical outlets really need to give people a reason to get up off their sofa and head out.
And the only way they can do this is by making a shopping centre a place that they want to go to, so ensuring it is clean, hygienic and an all-round pleasant environment surely has to be a priority.