Shopping Centres

Maximising the value of your investment requires an ongoing commitment to consumer and market research.

Shopping Centre research may be undertaken at a centre level or a portfolio level and it involves a number of phases.

At a centre level, research is customised to a particular asset and typically takes the form of:

  • Customer Exit and Intercept Surveys (including bi-lingual interviewing)
  • Telephone Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • In-depth Interviews

At a portfolio level, services extend to:

  • General industry information ie; Consumer Shopping Behaviour Benchmarks which identifies trends for the whole industry
  • Business to Business research with key stakeholders such as retailers and key community groups
  • Online surveys for up to the minute consumer mindset information

Understanding
Your Asset

Click on each section of the chart to find out more.

The Basic Requirements

There are two basic research requirements for any Individual Shopping Centre:

  • Customer Exit Survey
  • Centre Review and Market Assessment

Shopping Centre Management should have this essential information regarding the centre’s profile before any large scale development is undertaken.

Lifecycle Analysis

Armed with the basics you then need to determine which stage in the Shopping Centre Lifecycle your asset is?

Depending on where your asset sits will determine the short and long term strategy required to maintain growth. It will also determine the type of research required to support the asset strategy at any given time.

Launch Phase – Research for Development/Re-development

Typically, a centre would undertake the following types of research prior to launch:

Economic Assessment to:

  • Determine market potential and characteristics
  • Understand current and potential market demographics
  • Assess competition
  • Analyse site potential for remix or development

Consumer Assessment comprising:

  • Qualitative research (to understand the customer and test proposed options) usually via focus groups
  • Quantitative research (to test proposed options and market conversion) usually via telephone survey
  • Qualitative research (to test final option and detailed design and retail mix delivery)
Rapid Growth Phase

The first 6 to 12 months post launch are critical. During this time there are two types of research that are employed to ensure long term issue reduction in any Shopping Centre environment:

  • Customer Exit Survey
  • Market and Centre Composition Analysis

At this stage it may also be necessary to prepare a research contingency plan if the asset does not perform to expectations.

Growth Consolidation Phase

To ensure the continued growth of your asset, ongoing research in the form of Market and Centre Assessments and Customer Exit Surveys should be conducted every 2 to 3 years.

Lifecycle Renewal (Avoiding Decline) Phase

Understanding exactly where your asset is on the lifecycle curve and how long it takes to move through each phase is key to deploying Lifecycle Renewal through centre rejuvenation or development prior to decline setting in.

Additional Research Types

At a portfolio level, and even for major projects and developments at an individual centre level, it is common to obtain the views of retailers and to conduct comparisons with the industry at large.

Stakeholder View – Retailer

Assessing the needs and concerns of the retailer market, both existing and potential, helps to provide an understanding of their desires for the centre’s and overall industry’s development.

Shopping Centre Industry View

Industry Benchmarking is a valuable comparison and evaluation tool which allows you to measure the performance of your asset/centre against the performance of the industry.

An increasing number of owners ask Directional Insights to undertake surveys at their centres and benchmark the results against their own portfolio and industry averages such as: average time in centre, percentage of mission shoppers etc.

By benchmarking this type of consumer behaviour the centre’s strengths and weaknesses, from a customer usage point of view, can more quickly be identified, and therefore, forward strategies can be put in place for centre improvement and/or redevelopment.

Directional Insights has undertaken extensive research in this area resulting in the development of Australia’s most comprehensive range of Consumer Shopping Behaviour Benchmarks.

The Series, which demonstrates how Australians use shopping centres and how we shop, includes over 1,000 vital performance measures which members of the Shopping Centre and Retail Industry can use to assist with the continuous improvement of their assets.

There are eight reports available covering Neighbourhood Centres, Sub-Regional Centres (including: Metro, Non-Metro, Single Discount Department Store, Double Discount Department Store, and Total Sub-Regional) and Regional Centres, as well as an overall Benchmark covering all centres. These can be purchased individually or as a complete set.

To request a more detailed explanation of the Shopping Centre Lifecycle and a Guide to Research Practices in the Shopping Centre Industry, please click here.

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