Managers of shopping centres and retail chains grappling with the knock-on effect of stunted economic growth are assessing the health of portfolio assets through an innovative recommendations-based early warning system.
The system is fully mobile and users can access it on their tablets and smartphones at the touch of a button.
The Liberty Property Portfolio, managed by STANLIB Direct Property Investments, is an established founder user of the early warning system, which it uses to quickly target problems and strengths in its shopping centre portfolio. The system known as Retail LiveTM, is also used across retail chains. It was developed in South Africa by Clur Research International, which provides services, primarily in the retail property sector, internationally.
Amelia Beattie, Chief Investment Officer of STANLIB Direct Property Investments, says the retail market underscores the need for retail property businesses to coherently manage and convert information across their portfolios into meaningful time-sensitive actions.
“The fast changing property landscape calls for an ability to distil what is often a wealth of information into a concise, customised assessment of issues and proposed remedies,” she says. “There is a competitive edge in being able to base important income and profitability decisions on up to date and accurate information and recommendations flowing from interpretive methodology. Retail LiveTM draws on Belinda Clur’s extensive experience and specialised knowledge of retail over 16 years, as well as her established industry leading sector involvement.”
Marius Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Pareto, says Retail LiveTM , as a sophisticated niche product, serves a crucial industry need by supporting a pro-active management style.
“The well considered Clur Quadrants MethodologyTM is geared to prevent blind-spots and quickly points to strengths, risks and solutions. The platform continuously monitors the effect of implemented strategy so that this can be managed and altered as necessary.”
Ms Clur, managing director of Clur Research International, is the recently appointed chairperson of the African Research Group of the International Council of Shopping Centres and a member of its North American and European research advisory groups.
She says Retail LiveTM provides users with a leading indicator on market movements, based on their own portfolios, before broader economic and sector data is released. This and other relevant information can also be incorporated.
“The system further serves users through providing “battle tools” informing performance management, leasing negotiations, financial strategy, tenant mix strategy, product mix strategy, income/rental strategy, due diligence, budgeting, marketing strategy, concept decisions, investment decisions and acquisitions/disposals strategy. The system yields targeted recommendations to increase sales, decrease vacancies, monitor financial margins, pitch rentals and size at optimum levels and drive a strategic mix.”
Ms Clur says all areas of underperformance, performance and risk are identified though interpretive customised monthly reporting, heatmaps and detailed interactive client workshops.
Quick navigation touch links on tablets and smartphones ensure that users have their full set of information at their fingertips, wherever they are, and can get to the point fast without having to carry and thumb through large cumbersome reports.