COMMERCIAL PROPERTY, RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

How CapitaLand's malls are battling e-commerce

It recently hit strong pre-leasing at its new properties.

Retail is not about to succumb in the proliferation of e-commerce, as proven by CapitaLand Mall Asia (CMA)'s strategy to combat such threats.

According to DBS Group Research analyst Derek Tan and Rachel Tan, CMA is taking steps in the right direction, with its efforts to ramp up retail with new strategies.

"The overall aim for the group is to continue to gain mindshare with consumers through active management of malls in the portfolio, introducing new concepts in fashion and F&B to their malls, which seems to be gaining traction with consumers," the analysts said.

They noted that CMA recorded strong pre-leasing at its new properties. "We found that CapitaLand has made efforts to put in a higher experiential component in the malls, with 30%-35% of tenants either new in terms of fashion brands, or offering new concepts in F&B," the analysts said. 

Check out excerpts from DBS Group Research below to know how these upcoming malls are doing.

Raffles city Hangzhou

Pre-leasing at RCH is progressing exceedingly well. The retail mall (40% of GFA) is substantially leased with a committed occupancy of over 95% as of April 2017 with more than 30% of the tenants are concept, flagship stores that are new to Hangzhou. Some of the notable tenants include the popular Heytea, Yanjiyou lifestyle bookstore and Orange Sky Golden Harvest Cinema.

Raffles City Shenzhen

We visited the recently opened Raffles City Shenzhen (RCSZ ), located in Nanshan district with one of the highest concentration of expats and international schools. The mall saw good traffic and has many new-to-market concepts anchoring the mall.

As is the case with other Raffles City developments, RCSZ is well located and linked to 2 upcoming MRT train lines (lines 9 and 12) which will open in 2019 and 2021 which will mean stronger traffic in the medium term.

Raffles City Changning

We noted that the positioning of the mall is more upper mid-tier with a good mix of international brands. Like its other Raffles City projects, there is a good number of new to-Changning brands (C.20% of tenants), and those offering new concepts.

The retail podium is close to 100% leased while office tower has been substantially taken up with tenants doing their fitouts to start operations soon.

CapitaLand 1818 and CapitaLand Westgate

CapitaLand Westgate opened in April 2017 and has since seen strong returning foot traffic. The property is located within a business district and is positioned as a family-themed mall with AEON supermarket as an anchor at B1, and a cinema. The integrated development is linked to an office tower (from level 4) and has direct links to metro station in B1 and a residential block from level 2 (built and owned by China Merchants Group). This means that retailers are able to enjoy consistent traffic and patronage throughout the week.

CapitaLand 1818, likewise is positioned with more experiential components within the mall, anchored by a cinema and a high concentration of F&B outlets, some of which are new-to-market concepts. The mall does not have a supermarket given its location with the CBD. We understand that the fashion component might be a little weak but generally tenants in the sports and F&B are doing well.

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