Improvement of occupiers market
After a substantial period of headwinds, the increase in consumer spending and the restructuring of high streets and (some) retail formats, have started to change the tide. Over the past year, vacancy rates started to decline, take-up increased and rents stabilised.
At the same time, the polarisation seen in recent years is set to continue at both regional and retail segment levels. Regions with a strong demographic and economic growth outlook offer a far stronger basis than regions suffering from demographic and economic contraction.
Technology improves shopping experience
With technological possibilities on the rise and competition between retailers fierce, technology is playing an increasingly important role in the retail market. This goes for retailers, who can use in-store technology to implement their omni-channel strategies, but also for the owners of stores and shopping centres. These owners are now increasingly using monitoring tools to follow, predict and enhance the flow of passers-by.
Fund ready for the future of retail
Over the last few years, the Fund made solid progress in terms of portfolio optimisation and even managed to increase its high occupancy rate thanks to its active asset management approach. The strategy focusing on retail assets classified as Experience and Convenience has ensured that our assets are located in prime retail locations with good economic prospects. The Fund will continue to expand its portfolio, by investing in distinctive and high-quality high street retail units in the major shopping cities and in well-positioned daily shopping centres. In addition, the Fund will continue its sustainability strategy aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of the shopping centres or retail assets in its portfolio. We believe this will put the Fund in an even stronger position for the future. We will continue these efforts in 2018, again taking delivery of new assets and realising redevelopments of standing assets.
Amsterdam, 19 March 2018
Bouwinvest Real Estate Investment Management B.V.
Dick van Hal, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Statutory Director
Arno van Geet, Managing Director Finance & Risk
Allard van Spaandonk, Managing Director Dutch Investments
Stephen Tross, Managing Director International Investments