Shopping Centre Owners must innovate in the face of structural change and many are opting to create Integrated Mixed Use developments that create communities.

The demand for quick and cheap online transactions coupled with sluggish wage growth and the introduction of groups like Amazon has resulted in a very challenging environment for the Australian retail sector.

Many shopping centres are evolving to become Integrated Mixed Use communities, offering a mix of lifestyle and entertainment options to broaden the appeal to a diversity of shopper types.

Both Melbourne and Sydney have planning schemes that are focussed on poly-centric 20 minute cities.  Melbourne’s Activity Centres and Sydney’s three cities strategy cluster nodes outside traditional CBDs where key facilities and services are within a 20 minute commute of local residents.

With this kind of strategic planning and the need for retail shopping centre owners to innovate, we are seeing (and are involved in) Integrated Mixed Use developments that embrace the new pardigm of an integrated community to replace traditional shopping malls.

Smartphones have blurred the lines between work and home and, so too, Integrated Mixed Use developments blur the line between how people shop, work, live, stay and play.  It is the value capture between these uses that we find most interesting and is in fact easily quantifiable.

Although there is no denying Amazon has shaken up the retail world, bricks-and-mortar stores retain a tactile nature that will continue to lure shoppers through experience. Retailers that can effectively transcend online customer journeys and bricks & mortar within Integrated Mixed Use developments will do well into the future.

Retail isn’t dying – the dynamic is shifting. Point Polaris is helping leading shopping centre owners adapt to this new environment through Development Advisory Services and early identification of emerging opportunities for shopping centre owners.

Point Polaris will be announcing our involvement in an exciting new Integrated Mixed Use project in the coming weeks. Watch this space…

Andrew Hogan – Managing Director

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