Denis is a Manager at MacroPlan with over nine years experience in undertaking economic and market assessments related to retail development projects. Denis joined Pitney Bowes Business Insight in January 2007 as an Analyst and has since continued to strengthen his experience in the retail industry. Denis has built a solid expertise in market assessments for retail developments, including sales forecasting; supply and demand analysis; strategic reviews of shopping centres; economic impact assessments (EIA); and store network reviews. He has worked for a broad range of leading retailers and shopping centre owners, and has developed a wide knowledge of the Perth market.
What is your take on the current retail market in WA?
The retail market these days is known to be particularly tough, when you read stories of retailers or brands closing down every few weeks. In some sense though, it is a way for the best operators to continue to remain on edge and not become complacent. WA is no exception, but it is a bit of a new market for many – Aldi recently entered WA, Costco and DFO will open soon. These operators should perform well in WA, given their experiences on the eastern coast, and should bring healthy competition to the market.
What upcoming retail project in Perth are you most excited about?
There are many projects happening, but I am keen to see the Perth CBD evolve and transform over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how new synergies, shopping habits and pedestrian tracks will emerge, as the developments underway or proposed, such as Forrest Chase, Carillon City, Raine Square, come to life. This will bring new shopping, dining and entertainment choices into the city. The opening of Yagan Square and Elizabeth Quay is already redefining the public space environment.
How will emerging technology impact the future of retail?
Some technologies will keep us away from visiting retail stores and some will lure us back in! Imagine if all your grocery shopping is automatically ordered whenever required by your AI enabled virtual household assistant and delivered by drones, there would be little need to physically visit a supermarket. Will we still need the traditional supermarket footprint then? Behind all the technologies, there is also the massive volumes of data that will be captured and analysed and I think this will change how and what we shop. “Disruption” is commonly associated with technological change these days, and rightly so. Maybe the broader issue will be – if we just accept the incremental changes from each technological change without some kind of vision or direction, will we end up where we actually want to be?
What has been your biggest professional achievement?
I think the accumulation of small successes and building on from strength to strength is an achievement. When I started as an analyst many years ago, I was assigned to assist on a shopping centre project in southern Perth, which was only a supermarket centre at that time, and since then, I have continued to work on the centre many times as it grew and expanded. It is just rewarding, professionally, to see how the centre has grown over time and performed very successfully.
What are five future trends that we can expect in the retail property industry?
- Shopping centres will become more like local hubs for socialisation.
- Food, dining and experiential elements will grow in importance.
- Technology will be used creatively to enhance the centre experience.
- Retailer shop space will become more “interaction” space with the customers, rather than just displaying and selling items.
- The use of data and analytics will become a competitive asset for retailers.
Manager – Retail
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