Cinemas, mini-majors and food retailers the strongest performers in Westfield stores

The magic of the movies continues at Westfield shopping centres, with cinemas the strongest-performing tenants, according to half-year results to end of June.

Cinema sales over the first six month of the year were 8.6% higher than over the same period last year and 5.5% up year-on-year.

One year ago cinemas were Westfield’s poorest performing tenants with sales down 8.7% over the six months June 2011.

Mini-majors, which include stores like JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith, also performed strongly, with sales up 2.6% over the six months and 2.8% over the past 12 months.

However department stores such as David Jones and Myer continued to struggle, with retail sales from these tenants down 0.3% for the first six months of the year and down 1.5% over the last 12 months to June.

Perhaps fuelled by Coles and Woolies' price-discounting wars, supermarket sales fell 0.2% over the six-month period (they are up 0.4% year-0n-year) while discount department stores (Big W, Target, K-Mart) sales were also lacklustre – down 0.4% over the six months and down 2.3% year-on-year.

Speciality tenant sales were lacklustre, with growth of just 0.8% over the six-month reporting period compared with 8.7% in US malls and 1.1% growth in UK malls.

However, there were large differences in the performance of different Australian speciality tenants, with food-related businesses doing better than those selling clothes, shoes and jewellery

Food retail sales were up 2.6% over the past six months, while and food catering sales rose 1.1%.

Fashion (-0.3), footwear (-2.3%) and jewellery stores (-2.4%) performed poorly.

Last week as part of Stockland's annual results presentation, managing director Matthew Quinn said Stockland would be altering the mix of its shopping centres, offering fewer clothing stores due to the in-roads being made in the premium and high-end fashion space from online retailers.

The Westfield half-year results reveal that Australian speciality tenants face higher occupancy costs compared with other regions.

Occupancy costs include rent plus turnover rent, marketing costs and other payments to landlords.

They account for 18.9% of costs for Australian and New Zealand Westfield tenants, compared to 15.2% in the US and 10.2% in Brazil.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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