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Department stores to dominate Tianjin’s retail scene over next 12 months, says Colliers

KUALA LUMPUR: Department stores are expected to lead Tianjin’s retail property market over the next 12 months with retailers, especially international brands, looking to strengthen their initial presence in the local market, said global real estate consultancy Colliers International.

In a report released on Tuesday, August 24, it said retailers would opt to enter the market via higher-grade department stores before future retail shopping centres with proper management, trade and brand mixes mature.

Colliers also predicted that the new supply of Tianjin prime retail property should reach 380,921 sq metres by the end of this year, 542,526 sq m by end-2011; 423,000 sq m by end-2012; 742,831 by end-2013; and 40,000 sq m by end-2014.

“While the overall vacancy rate of the market is expected to edge up, the pressure for letting is unquestioned. In view of this, landlords should strategically position projects and differentiate on trade-and brand-mixes before the buildings are topped off,” it said.

On the flipside, Colliers said the new supply and higher quality of retail space, especially the upcoming AEON Mall, Tianjin Joy City and Century Metropolis, would cause major retail centres to undergo a “significant improvement of retail ambience and shopping experience".

“Simultaneously, diversified trade and brand-mixes should further enrich Tianjin’s consumer market and support the prosperity of the retail property market in the locality.

“Tianjin’s economic development should remain healthy for the rest of the year, reinforcing good fundamentals to the growth in consumption power, the prosperity of the retailing market and rental thresholds of retailers in or to the local market,” it said.

Meanwhile, the completion of the underground lines in Tianjin is expected to boost values of retail properties along the lines, with new retail developments such as Tianjin Joy City and Yanlord Riverside plaza designed to connect to the lines, it said.

The enhanced ease of access coupled with the higher derived footfalls and better shopping experience should bring about strong competition to existing retail properties in traditional catchments, revamping Tianjin’s entire retail property market, it added.
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