3. Retail park report introduced - new partner Savills

Die MEC METRO-ECE Centermanagement hat zusammen mit den bewährten Partnern Corpus Sireo, Dr. Lademann & Partner, GfK und TH Real Estate sowie erstmals auch Savills die dritte Ausgabe von „Fachmarktzentren in Deutschland“ ('Retail Parks in Germany') with its focus on "customer orientation". The work is 116 pages in length, and was presented to the public at the Expo Real in Munich.

Its most important finding: the consistently customer-oriented management of retail real estate requires total rethinking. The necessity of strict customer orientation results from the fact that added value in the field of retail parks and hybrid Centers will in future lie predominantly in the management of existing properties. Large-scale new developments have already become the exception. This management approach can only be provided through integrated network organisations formed from all parties involved in the operation of the site.

Many customer groups means many kings
The type, number and scope of customer relationships of retail real estate properties can be very complex. The wishes of the various customers, e.g. consumers, tenants, investors and local authorities, often conflict with one another. Thus e.g. investors want high rent and incidental costs that can easily be allocated, but the tenants do not; Tenants want less competition, consumers more; Consumers want to shop close to home, while local authorities prefer to realise retail and wholesale trade in specific locations. In order to optimally coordinate all of these customer interests with one another, and achieve attractive returns in the process, the integrated interaction of autonomous specialists working towards the same objective is the most effective approach.
"How successful network organisations are can be seen e.g. in the automotive industry," says the COO of MEC, Christian Schröder, continuing, "automotive manufacturers themselves only develop certain core modules of a model, and the rest is developed by the supplier network with a high degree of autonomy." "We organise the management of our real estate properties with our partners in exactly the same way. When all of the customers are satisfied, that is when a fund achieves its best results," says Managing Director and Fund Manager at Corpus Sireo International, Hans Stuckart. The Head of Retail Asset Management Germany at TH Real Estate, Kathrin Andres, adds: "Modern and forwards-looking asset managers understand customers in the truest possible sense. The potential for increasing value through consistent and comprehensive customer orientation is enormous. It is not without reason that demand for professionally managed retail properties and funds is at its highest point in years."

Retail parks replacing shopping Centers – including in the long term
Trade with retail parks is at record levels, and the return expectations of investors are correspondingly high. With peak returns of around 5.5%, retail parks have taken first place on the wish list of retail investors, and are thus on course to replace shopping Centers as the preferred investment. "It is quite possible that things will also stay that way," predicts Head of Retail Investment Germany at Savills, Jörg Krechky, and gives the following explanation:
• high degree of independence from fluctuations in the economy
• comparatively high resistance to digitalisation
• shortage of attractive opportunities in the shopping Center sector
When it comes to retail parks, however, there is a great enthusiasm for core markets. Macro-locations and properties that have been built or modernised within the last ten years are in high demand. "There is still a lot of potential for investors through revitalisation projects. However, the increasingly restrictive application of planning regulations is a serious constraint when it comes to modernising successful locations," explains the Managing Director of Dr. Lademann & Partner, Uwe Seidel.

Success factors for retail parks determined
"The success of retail parks cannot be reduced to the general principle of 'location, location, location," says the Head of Real Estate Consulting at GfK, Manuel Jahn. The 260 German retail parks were analysed using a scoring model developed internally by the company, which considers the criteria of location, concept, selection and management. The top 20 retail parks, average 27,900 m² in size, have a space performance of 4,400€/m²/year, and an average turnover of 118 million euros. The top performers are established Centers that have learned from consumers, and the majority have already been revitalised. The most successful German retail park is CITTI Park Flensburg, followed by Kaufpark Eiche and Kaufpark Dresden.

Stationary retail is not on the way out
Ultimately, every customer relationship with retail parks is directly or indirectly dependent on the consumer. Will the growth of online trading result in lower space requirements? The market report offers three possible future scenarios for selling space development up until 2025. "To clarify immediately, stationary retail is not on the way out. It can safely be assumed that space requirements will remain approximately the same until 2025," says Manuel Jahn. This is also confirmed by the numerous examples of successful retailers in this report, who have used innovative means to become multi-channel retailers.

Find the Fachmarktzentren Report