Big malls ahead of the game
More than $42 billion was pumped through the leading shopping centres of the country last year as landlords appeared to defy the malaise affecting their tenants.
On the basis of moving annual turnover, Colonial First State's Chadstone, in Melbourne's south-east, held its place as the country's only $1 billion centre.
Thanks to a large redevelopment and the opening of international brands, Chadstone's sales rose 5.2 per cent to a record $1.365 billion.
The rankings are in the latest "Big Guns" report from Shopping Centre News, released on Tuesday at an annual lunch.
It says the Big Gun centres (those with a leasable area of more than 45,000 square metres and housing one or both of the department stores Myer and David Jones) held their own in a year of difficult retail trading conditions.
The survey covered 89 centres, accounting for about $42.4 billion in sales last year.
Westfield took the next seven spots with Bondi Junction second at $972.8 million, and Westfield Chermside (Queensland) third with $876 million. Westfield Doncaster, Melbourne, was fourth at $839.6 million, a rise of 3.4 per cent. The flagship Westfield Sydney in Pitt Street Mall jumped two spots to No.5. Sales rose 11.3 per cent to $836 million. That was in part due to the "rock star" status of Spanish brand Zara since its opening 18 months ago.
At least half the income from these centres was generated by less traditional retail areas such as cinemas, food courts, medical centres and other leisure activities, landlords said.
This has led some some in the industry to call for a name change for shopping centres, to reflect the increased theme-park orientation of the malls.
Shopping Centre News publisher Michael Lloyd said sales figures appeared to contrast with the pessimism often linked to retail and shopping centres.
He said the nature of huge malls was changing dramatically. "They used to be shopping precincts and then they moved to shopping plus leisure and entertainment. Now they're shopping, leisure and entertainment, services, medical and dental centres - they're just town centres," Mr Lloyd said.
Retail landlords said there would be a focus on shopping centre redevelopment and the entry of more international brands next year.
AMP Capital Shopping Centres managing director Bryan Hynes listed redevelopments of Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast, Sydney's Macquarie Centre, and Ocean Keys and Garden City Booragoon in Perth, which collectively account for about $1.5 billion in sales.