Is this the end of shopping malls? | Overnights on Radio ABC Local

502678_13080610360014187352_STDOne of the most often asked questions I get around the future of retail is whether today’s shopping malls will still be around in the near to mid future?

The answer is emphatically YES.

In 2014, 40 cents out of every one (1) retail dollar  in Australia was spent in a shopping mall (approx. $110 billion per annum), 9 million Australians owned shares in shopping centres and Australia’s largest 9 shopping centres had billions of dollars of refurbishment underway.

Add to this that the mall’s very existence is hard-wired into our DNA, we are herd animals, we love to get together and the local village square, shuk and market have for millenniums offered this little oasis, a place to shop, meet, greet, catch up on the gossip and take time out of from our usual routine and chores.

With all of this pent-up consumer demand, shopping centre investment and societal need colliding together, the future picture isn’t so bad.

Shopping centres, like every other industry on the planet, are being disrupted. There are new players, new brands, new forms of engagement, digital and physical opportunities and a global reach and transparency the likes of which consumers and retailers have never had before.

These can be both threats and opportunities and again like every industry and throughout mankind the wise and profitable do as they have always done, see lemons and make lemonade and the remainder choose to blame, become sour and wither.

There is no doubt that retail and shopping centres are going through upheaval, but put into context shopping malls have only been in Australia for 50 years and to bring them online the strip shopping centre suffered.

Our centres are not as straightforward as we think. We often think of the large retail brands as being the majority of shopping centre tenants, but in fact in terms of sales volumes it’s closer to 41% supermarkets, 37% specialty stores (small businesses often franchisees), 13% discount department stores (Kmart, Harrison Scarfe, Big W etc.), 7% mini majors (JB Hi Fi etc.) and then 2% department stores.

We also have to take into account the new global retailers that have entered our centres – Uniqlo, H&M, TopShop, Zara (a prediction I made on TV in 2009), the changes to stocking, merchandising and customer service they have brought with them and the many international retailers, including Chinese, that we have not yet seen will also greatly influence the future of our malls.

Yes we’re in for an evolution. There is change ahead. We will come out of it very different, but in the end we will still have physical shopping centres and malls, but what we have them for and how we use them is up to us to decide as we evolve our way into the future of shopping.

In my semi regular chat with Rod Quinn of Overnights on radio ABC local we explored the past, present and future of the shopping mall; queried whether a shopping centre, mall and arcade are the same thing, looked around the world at good and bad examples of malls and took lots of listeners calls on their thoughts and experiences of the shopping mall.

Have a listen now (45 minutes)…



Insomniacs listen in tonight to the Future of the Shopping Mall on radio ABC Local “Overnights”

abc_local_me_sat_7th_Feb_2015 There’s far too much talk about the demise of the mall or shopping centre.

If they are on their way out then why is $4.9 billion being spent on refurbs by Westfield and Chadstone undertaking its own mega renovation and expansion.

We have for ever shopped in local markets, village squares and shuks and that isn’t going to change soon, but something’s got to change if they’re going to remain relevant and profitable in the future.

So what is the Future of Shopping Centres’ in Australia?

I’m so glad you asked and for the answer join me on Radio ABC Local’s Overnights  with Rod Quinn in the wee small hours of tomorrow – Saturday 7th February – @ 4.10 a.m. as we chat through the Malls of the Future and take listeners thoughts and questions – hope you can join me and maybe even phone in on 1300 800 222.

This years massive growth sectors – The Age and SMH

Article Lead - wide65537441130dvqimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.130p0h.png1423020537713.jpg-620x349reprinted from the The Age and SMH

Companies specialising in wearable technology and privatised rentals are among the hot sectors set to take off this year.

Business analysts and trend experts predict boom growth for Australian businesses in a wide range of industries bringing new ideas to the market.

Research firm IBISWorld predict online grocery sales, fast fashion and hydroponic crop farming will see huge revenue escalation, but its coal seam gas extraction that will top the list of fastest growing industries in 2015.

Coal seam gas extraction is predicted to lift by a massive 148 per cent or $1.83 billion in the next year, while online grocery companies will enjoy a 14.6 per cent rise representing a $2.19 billion surge.

Fast fashion is tipped to jump by 10.4 per cent or $1.3 billion and hydroponic crop farming will increase by 5.6 per cent or $836 million, the report reveals.

IBISWorld senior industry analyst David Whytcross says hydroponics, which is used to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers, is enjoying strong and steady demand from consumers.

“In addition to water conservation, hydroponics allow for higher production yields of high-quality produce,” he says.

“Vertically tiered plants enable greater productivity, while greater quality control, faster plant growth and longer growing seasons offset the added cost of hydroponic systems over conventional agricultural practices.”

Adventurous start-ups embracing cutting-edge technology and new consumer trends are also set for a bumper year ahead.

Peer-to-peer business

Cutting out the middle-man is proving to be successful for the rapidly growing peer-to-peer businesses sector. Companies in this space include the hugely successful Airbnb and Uber.

Chris Noone, chief executive from Collaborate Corporation, which owns DriveMyCar Rentals and Caramavan, says businesses built on renting directly from private owners is going to continue growing this year.

“It all makes sense because the old way of doing business is owning something and not using it all the time and paying all the expenses,” Noone says.

“Owning everything you need is out – renting what you need, when you need it is in.”

Digital security

Businesss and individuals are now more guarded of their digital footprint than ever before. This creates more opportunities for savvy digital protection companies than ever before, says business futurist Morris Miselowski.

“Online security will definitely rise this year on the back of the Sony hack and various governments and agencies being digitally infiltrated,” he says.

“Digital payments and gateways will rise this year including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and also Apples push into the payment gateway through the iPhone 6 inclusion of a digital wallet.”

Virtual reality

Immersive media, entertainment and education are tipped to be big movers in 2015. Technology such as Google Glass and Oculus Rift, a headset for 3D gaming, have paved the way in this sector.

Entrepreneurship consultant Lauren Rielly says companies invested in augmented and immersive experiences are sure to hit the big-time in coming years.

“Those who embrace virtual reality during its infancy this year will be poised for high growth as it hits mass-market adoption during 2016,” she says.

“International film festivals, tradeshows and exhibitions are beginning to showcase virtual reality now and technological advancements see mobile phones we own today already capable of virtual reality.”

Wearable technology

Smartwatches that send you notifications and smartbelts that tighten and loosen depending on how much you’ve eaten are just some of the amazing wearables now on the market.

Miselowski says this market is only going to get bigger as consumers become reliant on devices to measure our work, our fitness and more.

“2015 is the year we cut the umbilical cord tying us to our so-last-century technologies and become technologically reborn into an ecosystem of omnipresent, deliciously small devices we carry on or in us, at all times,” he says.

“Each of these unique digital minions will do their own thing in their own way.

“Each is capable of not only providing a unique activity or exertion reading, but also seamlessly and collaboratively swarming and contributing with myriad other devices, objects and people in our designated ecosystem providing their real-time insights as part of a more holistic understanding of who we are and what actions we may want or need to undertake next.”

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