Rising consumer base drives retail investments

MORE BRICK AND MORTAR STORES OPENING. Property research firm Santos Knight Frank says Cebu has remained “an attractive playing field for property developers seeking to expand their retail arm.” (SunStar file)

CEBU will continue to see more brick and mortar retail shops popping up in the coming years despite the emergence of online shopping.

The growing consumer base in Cebu is spurring investments in its retail sector, according to property consultancy firm Santos Knight Frank.

In its Metro Cebu market update report for the first half of 2019, Santos Knight Frank mentioned that the thriving business process management sector, companies registered with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and the increasing tourist arrivals are boosting Cebu’s consumer base.

The realtor pointed out that Cebu has remained “an attractive playing field for property developers seeking to expand their retail arm.”

It also mentioned the easing inflation as a boon to the retail business this year.

“The resulting lower prices stimulated the demand for goods and services and was favorable to the retail sector,” the company report said.

A number of shopping malls within mixed-use developments and retail strips are in the pipeline across Metro Cebu.

Il Corso, Filinvest’s flagship lifestyle mall at the South Road Properties, will add about 36,000 square meters (sq.m.) of gross leasable area (GLA) as soon as it becomes fully operational.

Ayala Land’s Cebu Holdings Inc. will add approximately 43,000 sq.m. of GLA to Metro Cebu’s retail supply once its Central Bloc mall in Cebu IT Park opens by the end of this year.

Megaworld is also building Plaza Magellan, a three-level lifestyle mall in its integrated development called Mactan Newtown.

In Mandaue City, Ayala Land and AboutizLand’s Gatewalk Central has an Ayala Mall in the project’s masterplan, with Landmark Department Store as its main anchor.

When completed by 2021, it will add about 115,000 sq.m. of GLA to Cebu’s retail stock.

“Despite the growing number of regional and neighborhood shopping malls, retail strips remained the dominant retail type in Metro Cebu,” Santos Knight said in the report.

Cebu’s worsening traffic congestion, resulting from continuous constructions and infrastructure projects, is enticing retail developers to create stop-and-go retail strips for added convenience of consumers.

Majority of shopping malls in Metro Cebu exhibited growth in lease rates. Overall lease rate in Cebu City grew 26 percent to P1,300 per square meter (sq.m). Lease rates in Mandaue City remained at approximately P860 per sq.m. (CSL)


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