21 Jan 2016

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PHOTO: The expansion of Westfield Chatswood included a Hawker Lane. Supplied.

The big malls are getting bigger, with new near-1 million square metres of redevelopment planned for Australia’s shopping centres.

“We are seeing these big centres become community hubs,” Urbis consultant Rhys Quick said. A recent Urbis report tracked the evolution of malls as their traditional anchor department stores stagnate. Sluggish retail growth since the global financial crisis has forced major malls to refresh.

Specialty stores have taken up the slack. In the past year, nail bars and massage centres have shown the greatest growth at 32.5 per cent.

“Shopping centres are diversifying their role and realising that food and beverage has been the strongest growth category for the three or four years,” Mr Quick said.

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