Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News release


JLL Survey records strongest sentiment from Retail Centre Managers since 2011

The improvement in sentiment of centre managers recorded in JLL’s February survey coincides with announcement by RBA of a drop in the official cash rate

​​AUSTRALIA, 11 MARCH 2015 – The last three to four years has been challenging for the retail sector and while some of those challenges remain, JLL’s latest retail survey conducted nationally has recorded the strongest overall sentiment from retail centre managers’ since the surveys began in September 2011.

JLL’s Retail Centre Managers' Survey, taken in February this year, coincided with the announcement by the Reserve Bank of Australia of a drop in the official cash rate to the lowest level in Australia’s history. 

JLL’s Australian Head of Property and Asset Management, Richard Fennell said, “Centre Managers across JLL’s managed retail portfolio are more positive about the trading prospects of the centres they manage compared to six months ago, with 63% of respondents now expecting some turnover growth in the year ahead.

“Growth expectations is up from 56% in August last year and 51% in February 2014.  And importantly, just 11% of respondents, or one in nine, considered that sales turnover would decline over the next 12 months.

“Consumer sentiment also increased after the early February cut to the official cash rate, while lower fuel prices and solid gains in the share market have also contributed to the positive sentiment.

“These three factors have potentially significant benefits for the retail sector by increasing wealth and the level of disposable income that consumers have to spend on retail goods and services,” said Mr Fennell.

JLL’s Retail Centre Managers’ Survey in February was the 12th survey undertaken by JLL across its managed portfolio.  A total of 118 retail centres participated across the five mainland states and the ACT.

Director, Strategic Consulting Australia at JLL, David Snoswell said, “The strongest performing centres were geographically dispersed across Australia, reflecting a strong local trade environment rather than recent trends in trading conditions at the state level.

“Many of the strongest performing centres were in regional locations where the respective centre holds a dominant position in its catchment.

“Centres in Western Australia continue to lag the rest of the country in terms of outlook for turnover growth in the year ahead. 

This is in sharp contrast to the 2013 surveys, when WA-based centres were outperforming the market. The resources boom is certainly over and this has negatively impacted on the retail market, with less discretionary income in the economy to drive sales,” said Mr Snoswell.

Tenant Enquiry:
The Retail Centre Managers’ Survey showed tenant enquiry has continued to improve and is now at its strongest level since the survey commenced in September 2011.

Mr Fennell said, “The net balance between stronger tenant enquiry versus weaker enquiry was 15% - the highest level recorded over the history of the 12 surveys and only the third time a positive result above the neutral 0% mark has been recorded.

“The previous survey in August 2014 recorded a slightly positive result at a net balance of 2%, which was the first time a positive result had been recorded since December 2012.

“The result for tenant enquiry in the last two surveys is an encouraging sign and supports the consistent and gradual recovery in the retail market that has been occurring over the past 12-18 months.

“A sustained increase in tenant enquiry levels is usually a precursor to growth in retail rents, which have been below the rate of inflation over the past 12 months.

“Tenant enquiry has increased across all retail categories over the past 12 months, which is a positive sign for managers looking to improve the retail mix in their centres.

“Food retailers, both food catering and speciality, remained the main source of tenant enquiry across JLL’s managed retail centres, but a range of discretionary categories such as clothing, accessories and jewellers have seen marked increases in enquiry levels over the past 12 months. There is also solid interest in small kiosks,” said Mr Fennell.

The JLL survey was undertaken in February 2015 across JLL’s managed portfolio and provides results of the retail market as at the end of December, together with the views of centre managers on the 12 months ahead.

Tenant Enquiry Net Balance.jpg