of Retail parks in France
A retail park is an open-air shopping centre. Composed of a number of commercial cells of varying sizes, with a common car park, it is organised like a small town, for better circulation of cars and shoppers. It is generally located on the outskirts of a city. While they have many similarities with shopping centres, retail parks are generally larger. Their architecture is evolving: many are modernising and integrating green spaces. Like the shopping centre, the retail park must attract customers and provide entertainment.
As an asset, it is characterized by the attractiveness of its prices: it is a low-cost product. It is aimed at the same occupier/investor market as shopping centres and is often part of the same portfolio. That said, the retail park offer is now more dynamic.
of Retail parks in France
invested in commerce around France in 2018
Premium rate of return, after a decrease of 10 bps between 2016 and 2018
There are two categories of retail parks: large retail parks with a surface area of more than 10,000 sq m and those with a surface area of less than 10,000 sq m. The largest ones represent the most attractive retail parks are in prime zones: for example, the Patte d' Oie d' Herblay (95) or the Croix Blanche in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (91). Croix Blanche is the largest retail park in Île-de-France with 160 stores and more than 400 fashion, leisure and service brands.
The smallest retail parks are divided into 4 categories according to surface area, number of shops and hypermarket size: large regional centres (80,000 sq m /150 shops), small regional centres, large centres, small centres (20 shops between 5,000 and 20,000 sq m).
There are 7.5 sq m of retail parks in France and 17.5 million sq m of shopping centres. The market attracts the same investors for both types of assets: mainly insurers/mutuals, OPCI/SCPIs and specialised commercial real estate funds. Nearly two thirds of the investments in retail parks are made by national operators and just over one third by international investors. Both types of assets are often mixed within portfolios. Retail parks are less expensive than shopping centres and are often considered low-cost products. It was estimated that by the end of 2017, approximately 1 million sq m of new surface would be created, compared with only 300,000 sq m for shopping centres. In short, retail parks are becoming more dynamic.
As with shopping centres, investors are looking for a high occupancy rate and quality signage. Two important indicators are monitored: the turnover/sq m and the effort rate. The latter (rent and service charge/revenue ratio) varies according to business segments. If it exceeds 15% in the long term, the sustainability of the business may be compromised. But while shopping centres have higher occupancy rates, retail parks have the advantage of more competitive occupancy costs. Their valuation depends closely on their location and attractiveness.
Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) and capitalisation are the methods used to estimate the value of retail park assets. Differences between actual rents and the calculated market rental values (MRVs) are taken into account by applying an analysis adapted to vacant premises. Portfolio premiums and sensitivity studies (return rate, discount rate, occupancy rate, etc.) are also analysed.
Rents in retail parks are indexed to the ILC (Commercial Rent Index). After a decline in 2016, the trend is up, which will improve returns. The location and attractiveness of retail parks remain essential criteria for valuations.
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