Footfall and occupancy sliding
Retail Excellence Ireland has found a "significant decrease" in productivity in shopping centres across Ireland in its fourth annual review
20 April 2009
Retail Excellence Ireland’s fourth annual Shopping Centre Productivity Review has revealed that footfall has seen a “significant decrease” across the country’s top 58 shopping centres, and that occupancy levels have also declined.
The survey of over 550 shopping centre outlets revealed that the . Accordingly, occupancy has also fallen with the average centre now only 84.24% let, compared with 91.60% in June 2008.
Retail Excellence Ireland chief executive David Fitzsimons said that in contrast to the drop in footfall and occupancy, rents have continued to increase. “Despite the Survey figures depicting an obvious decline in shopping centre productivity since June 2008, shopping centre rents have, alarmingly, still been increasing with average rent per square foot now running at €83.60 compared with the 2008 average of €79.53,” said Fitzsimons.
“The findings also highlight that some of Ireland’s newest shopping centres are struggling to attract new customers in the current more difficult market conditions. New centres such as the Beacon Centre in Sandyford (Dublin), MacDonagh Junction (Kilkenny), Athlone Town Centre and the Laurence Centre (Drogheda) all ranked in the bottom 10, with tenants paying premium rents for an unacceptable trading performance,” he said.
Retail Excellence Ireland has appointed Dublin-based property consultants GVA Donal O’Buachalla to handle rental agreements on behalf of 1,500 of its members. The move follows its Rent Reduction survey carried out last month, which found that 70% of Irish retailers have sought a rent reduction this year but only a small percentage have been successful despite the declining market conditions.