Retail landlords will need to work with smaller assets to generate the same income in coming years to offset the rise of internet shopping.
Glenn Rufrano, the New York-based president and chief executive of the global group Cushman & Wakefield, said internet sales in the US now amounted to 20 per cent of total retail income.
Mr Rufrano, who led the former Centro Properties Group through its dark hours in 2007-09, said on a trip to Sydney that over time malls would need less space and would have to work with tenants to accommodate the new way of shopping.
He said malls would need to offer a combination of bricks and mortar stores, areas to pick up internet purchases, and expanded food courts and entertainment to entice customers.
"The rise in the internet will lead to a retailer requiring less footage but having a strong supply chain relationship," he said.
"In the US, the demand for same-day delivery of goods is becoming very important, which has seen retailers lease out more warehouses than a traditional shop."
The rise in internet retailing has also led Mark Bouris' TZ Limited to strike a deal to introduce an automated locker system for people to pick up goods bought on the internet. TZ has entered into a partnership with AA Holdings, which owns and operates more than 50 BP petrol stations in Victoria, and Australian Fuel Distributors (Ausfuel), which has more than 80 Gull petrol stations across Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
In January, TZ signed a deal with GPT Group to have the lockers at its offices, shopping centres and business parks.