The retail environment is evolving rapidly both in terms of physical stores but also in terms of e-commerce, according to a new report.
This is according to the Retail Development Pipeline Ireland report, published on Thursday (28 June) by commercial real estate company Cushman and Wakefield.
The report urged developers, landlords and retailers have to respond to changing consumer and retailer demands in an effort to keep up.
Dublin City Development
“The market has gradually entered a new cycle, with rents moderately rising and a notable shake-up in the ownership landscape. In this new era, personal consumption, consumer sentiment and employment levels are all trending upwards, resulting in much-improved fundamentals for the retail economy.”
The report highlight that until recently construction activity has been stagnant, with no major retail construction since 2011, resulting in a supply challenge in some prime areas.
These challenges are particularly evident in the city centre, which has always struggled to accommodate large retailer requirements, the report states.
“An analysis of the current existing stock on Grafton Street and Henry Street by floor size […] highlights the limited number of large-scale units that exist on the city’s prime streets. It also illustrates the number of multiple trading levels at present.”
The report said that the snapshot of Grafton St and Henry St “emphasises the need for further amalgamations and large format units to accommodate and attract more new entrants to the city centre”.
The report highlighted the development underway on Dame Street, and the potential extended pedestrian zone tom Grafton Street to College Green.
“Although it remains too early to gauge the extent of the impact this will have on retailing, it is widely anticipated that footfall will increase and it will act as a catalyst for further development and expansion of the prime retail area beyond the traditional core streets.”
Changing Consumer Needs
Outside of Dublin city centre, development activity consists primarily of extensions and refurbishments. While most extensions have been on a small-scale, the works have added greater value to retail centres.
Development used to introduce a large volume of new retail space, however, in recent years this has devolved into simple expansions and upgrades, which improves the offerings of current centres.
“The current market can be seen as an opportunity to adapt assets to meet these changing demands,” the report said.
“There has been a consistent flow of new occupiers into the Irish market over the last few years at modest levels but it remains important that the available space in our market is on trend and the space responds to the consumer expectations of ‘shopping experience’.”
“Consumer needs have evolved over recent times,” the report suggests. Now, they are demanding more diverse spaces where they can eat as well as can eat and enjoy leisure time.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.