The State of the New Zealand Shopping Centre Industry

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New Zealand shopping centre industry has a long and complex history. It is the result of a combination of New Zealand’s geography, population size, and economic development. Due to the country’s size, shopping centres have had to be built to meet the various needs of people living in different areas. This has created a unique environment for the retail sector to thrive over the past few decades.

Growth in the Shopping Centre Industry

The New Zealand shopping centre industry has seen considerable growth in recent years. Over the past decade, the number of shopping centres has doubled from 157 in 2006 to 322 in 2016, with an estimated growth rate of 4.5% in that period of time. This growth is driven by the increasing population and shopping centres providing a wider variety of services and experiences to customers.

This increased demand has also been accompanied by an increase in the size of shopping centres. The average size of a shopping centre in New Zealand has grown from 5,500 square metres in 2006 to 8,500 square metres in 2016. This is because shoppers are now expecting a more comprehensive shopping experience, with more opportunities to interact with brands and services.

Challenges Facing Shopping Centres

The growth of the New Zealand shopping centre industry has not come without its challenges. As the sector has become increasingly competitive, some shopping centres have struggled to maintain profitability. Margins have been squeezed due to the higher costs of running large shopping centres, and this has been compounded by the impact of online shopping.

Online retail sales in New Zealand have grown rapidly over the past few years, with a reported growth rate of 17.3% between 2017 and 2018. This has posed a challenge to the traditional business models of shopping centres, as shoppers have increasingly turned to the convenience of online shopping.

However, shopping centres have responded to this challenge by adapting their strategies to remain competitive. Shopping centres have invested in more modern facilities, including interactive digital screens, interactive kiosks and user-friendly mobile applications. They have also focused on creating unique and exciting experiences that shoppers cannot find online, such as events and activities.

Future Opportunities for Shopping Centres

Despite the challenges posed by the growth of online retail, there are still plenty of opportunities for shopping centres to remain competitive. For example, the increasing trend of experiential retail is offering new opportunities for shopping centres to differentiate themselves from online retailers.

Experiential retail refers to the concept of creating unique, interactive experiences that shoppers can access in physical stores. This includes activities such as cooking lessons, art classes, and fashion shows.

Shopping centres can also capitalise on the rise of online shopping by implementing click-and-collect services, which allow shoppers to purchase their goods online and collect them in person. This service has the potential to provide an additional source of revenue, as well as draw more customers to physical stores.


The New Zealand shopping centre industry is in a strong position to remain profitable and competitive into the future. With the rise of experiential retail and the implementation of click-and-collect services, shopping centres have the potential to provide customers with a unique and immersive shopping experience that cannot be replicated online.

Key Takeaways:

  • The New Zealand shopping centre industry has seen considerable growth in recent years.
  • The sector has faced challenges from the growth of online shopping, but shopping centres have responded by adapting their strategies.
  • Experiential retail and click-and-collect services are offering new opportunities for shopping centres to remain competitive.

The New Zealand shopping centre industry has a bright future ahead of it, as retailers continue to innovate and create unique and immersive experiences for customers. With the right strategies and an understanding of the New Zealand market, shopping centres have the potential to remain a key part of the retail landscape in the future.

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