A Good News Retail Story

August 15, 2017

The dominant narrative surrounding retail property in Australia at present is one of ‘doom and gloom’ due to the impending arrival of internet giant Amazon.

While there is no doubt that the retail environment is challenging, and competition is rising, Sentinel is not a subscriber to the widespread panicked views of approaching retail armageddon.

Retailing, like many other sectors, is being disrupted. At Sentinel, we believe that with disruption comes opportunity. The retail market is not easy but you can be successful if you have a clear strategy, a commitment to doing all the little things right, a willingness to work hard and a focus on innovation.

A great example of this is our DFO Cairns property in North Queensland. When we acquired this centre a year ago, it was on its knees. Over the past year, we have significantly turned the property’s performance around to the point where it is not just surviving but thriving.

It has not been one big thing that has achieved this, but rather many little things done well. Centre improvements such as new signage, painting and lighting, new playground equipment and indoor plants, are in addition to bus stop upgrades and providing free WI-FI access for all shoppers. Major capital works investments including a mall straightening project and the construction of a new outdoor food and entertainment precinct is well underway, as well as a whole range of new marketing initiatives such as pop-up store promotions with international retailers and transporting cruise ship passengers to the centre to shop.

Our experiences at DFO Cairns show that it can be done. We are constantly on the look-out for new ideas, innovations and improvements that will enhance the retail environment for our tenants and their customers. We also have the hands-on management, leasing and marketing teams to implement these ideas on the ground. As a result, new retailers continue to open at DFO Cairns, and many existing retailers are expanding. The centre has never looked or performed better, and there is still many more improvements to come.

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