A walk through some of our malls on any given weekday, even during the school holiday period, is depressing given the lack of patronage, ambience and atmosphere.
One wonders how the tenants maintain a viable business (Why strata malls are struggling to survive; Oct 8).
The answer to this lies in real estate investment trusts (Reits), much reviled though they have been as the culprits behind stratospheric rents, boring uniformity and tactics in extracting a percentage of takings over and above rentals in malls.
Professionally managed and maintained with a proven mix of bread-and-butter tenants and those selling esoteric wares, Reit-managed malls keep the shopping experience tantalising with constant renewal, promotions and seasonal festivities.
Compare this with the insouciant apathetic business model of most individual strata-titled malls managed without a central strategy, leaving the properties bedraggled and woe begone, incapable of enticing patrons away from the comforts of online shopping, and one realises why Reit-managed malls thrive, especially over weekends and festive periods, with long snaking queues at their eateries and carparks filled to capacity.
Cheap rentals with an abysmal shopping experience just will not cut it with the present-day consumer.
It comes as no wonder then that Reit-managed malls have a backlog of potential tenants queuing to rent their premises among whom they can cherry-pick to add value and variety, while other malls languish forlornly with untenanted shop spaces.
Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)