Victorians can expect to see more divergence in the retail sector overall in the year ahead.
"While there is still a substantial amount of capital looking to invest within the retail sector, that capital is becoming more selective, and targeting prime or super prime assets as opposed to secondary assets,” Mike Crittenden, Colliers International Director of Retail Leasing, said.
“The same can be said from a leasing perspective. We are still tracking in excess of 1 million square metres of outstanding leasing demand, however most of this, particularly specialty, is targeting prime locations along the eastern seaboard – namely regional or CBD assets."
He said disruption in the retail sector would bring about new opportunities.
“New entrants with deep pockets will provide sophisticated retail infrastructure that can be utilised by existing retailers,” he said. “This infrastructure includes online sales portals, customer service, inventory management and fulfilment.
“Technology will also continue to become more important. This includes smart store technology such as automated ordering, prevention of food loss, preventative maintenance and energy conservation.
“We will see an increase in smart shopping centres utilising targeted marketing, footfall tracking, optimisation of energy consumption as well as cognitive computing taking AI to the next level with trend analysis and predictions.
“Chatbot and conversational commerce – the act of purchasing goods through online conversations – is also something to watch in the year ahead.
“Consumers will reap the benefits from all of these advancements.”