Partnering with our retailers

We want to be a valued partner for our retailers, understanding and delivering what’s most important to them and enabling them to be successful and sustainable at every touch point.

We understand that a key deliverable for Vicinity to our retailers is attracting more people to our destinations, which drives higher retail sales.

Our Group strategy focus of creating market-leading destinations requires that we build strong partnerships with our retailers and support them to succeed.

Vicinity’s size and scale enables us to offer our retailers a range of high quality shopping centre spaces. This, combined with our intensive asset management approach and innovative culture enables us to provide a high level of service to retailers to ensure they are well supported in their operations.

Our leasing, marketing, data science and insights, and operations teams work together to engage with our retailers on an ongoing basis to understand their needs, address any issues that arise and support them in many ways.

 

 

How we support our retailers

 

Leasing

Ensuring that retailer and consumer needs are met through our leasing strategy, and guide and consult to deliver engaging shop fit-outs

Data Science and Insights

Share data and insights to improve consumers, retailers overall experience, and support sustainable operations

Marketing

Use insights, digital and media assets to build better consumer experiences and drive footfall and dwell time to maximise retailer sales opportunities

Operations

Provide building services, including security, cleaning, heating and cooling, waste management and information and communication services

 

We continue to monitor retailer satisfaction through independent annual surveys and in-depth interviews, as well as through regular communication and knowledge sharing with our retailers throughout the year.  Retailer feedback and satisfaction outcomes are key inputs into each centre’s strategic asset plans, which are developed annually and reviewed quarterly, and inform our planning for future developments, reconfigurations, operations and marketing activities.

Competitive Advantage through Data Analytics

In FY20, Vicinity trialled the use of a Retailer Recommendation Tool (the Tool) – a bespoke in-house developed tool that uses advanced statistical models to provide insights into which retailer is likely to perform well in a given store location (and centre). The Tool considers the audience of the centre, the past performance of the retailer, and the retailer’s projected future performance in relation to its reliance on foot traffic past its specific location. The Tool’s positive reception by the trial group has resulted in the application being broadened to the entire Vicinity Leasing team to assist them throughout the COVID-19 period.

Our retailers have told us they want access to data that helps them improve their performance, in response Vicinity has created a Retailer Insights Platform. This digital platform provides access to store analytics and centre insights retailers can use to determine their optimal store network and improve sales performance and profitability. The platform has been created based on input and feedback from a trial group of retailers and utilises the building blocks of data that Vicinity has developed to generate and support its own insights.

Retailer portal

As part of our broader intelligence platform, Vicinity built and launched  Vicinity ConnectTM in May 2018- a secure online platform available 24x7 for Vicinity and our retailers to come together. It is designed to streamline communications and operations, enhance convenience and provide on demand access to information for retailers. The portal has further evolved since launching to include sales performance, access to marketing materials and invoicing details to a selection of major retail customers.

In 2020 it’s currently accessible to over 600 brands. As we continue to expand our digital capability, Vicinity ConnectTM provides the necessary platform for Vicinity to provide additional features, insights and valuable services for retailers in the future as we continue to focus on creating stronger retail relationship and outcomes.

Supporting Our Retailers during COVID-19

In the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, centre operations teams were quick to respond and adapt to COVID-19 across Vicinity’s portfolio. Increased cleaning of customer touchpoints and provision of hand sanitising stations, as well as measures such as the removal of food court furniture and social distancing signage, meant that we were on the front foot with our operational responses as the situation evolved throughout March and April. Since then, Vicinity has maintained a heightened focus on hygiene and social distancing practices across the portfolio as restrictions have started to ease on a state by state basis across Australia.

Vicinity was actively involved, through the SCCA, in the development of the COVID-19 Retail Recovery Protocol (the Protocol). The Protocol provides a consistent, practical and public-health led guide for shopping centres and retailers on how to operate and trade safely in a post COVID-19 environment. Vicinity has aligned its operational response to implement measures equal to or at a higher standard than those outlined in the Protocol.

In May 2020, Vicinity released the COVID-19 Retailer Handbook (the Handbook) containing important information to support

retailers to get their business reactivated post COVID-19 closures and to ensure that their return to trade is done safely and in line with government directives and advice, and industry best practice. We continue to monitor government and regulator advice, as well as experience within our centres and the Handbook is revised and reissued as appropriate.

Promoting sustainability with our retailers

Our Sustainability strategy recognises the value in building strategic partnerships with our retailers to achieve shared sustainability goals beyond those achievable on our own.

We support our retailers to be more sustainable in their operations by sharing our knowledge and insights and also providing relevant services, information and tools to help them make better informed decisions.

We support our retailers through:

  • our retail design guidelines, which include minimum sustainability requirements and best practices in shop fit outs and refurbishments;
  • providing monthly energy data to retailers who purchase electricity through our embedded network to drive efficiency improvements;
  • an education and engagement program to help retailers improve their waste management and recycling practices; and
  • implementation of our community investment program, which aims to drive better retail performance via improved centre amenity and consumer experience, through alleviating youth-related issues which can sometimes play out at local shopping centres.