Scaling Up – The Rise of Large Format Retail

Published on: 15/02/2024

In the current retail landscape, large format retailing is making a significant and positive impact, robustly establishing itself as a key player. This sector is thriving, demonstrating both adaptability and resilience in the face of various market challenges. Its strong performance and growth potential are increasingly capturing the attention of investors, highlighting its enduring appeal and significance in the ever-evolving retail world.

Since establishing itself in the 1970s, this sector has transcended its former status as the “poor cousin” of shopping formats, evolving into a strategic and thriving industry.

This is due in part to its adaptive nature and correlation with the ascendancy of online shopping.

Seeking opportunities to expand their footprints into previously inaccessible spaces, large format retailers have filled a void that other retail formats have failed to address. This flexibility in planning has also become a distinguishing feature of their success.

Bunnings Collingwood VIC

Prominent names like Bunnings, Salvos, Reece, The Good Guys and Cheap as Chips have become synonymous with large format retailing, showcasing its enduring appeal. Even office supply giants like Officeworks have found a lucrative niche within this sector.

Our data reveals these properties are rarely transacted with investors holding onto them due to their secure leases, ongoing strong returns and future upside.

In 2023, one of our largest transactions was the iconic Bunnings Collingwood which sold in excess of $63 million on a sub 5.0% yield, confirming the robust demand for such assets. Data from the leading experts further substantiates the strength of this industry.

According to the Large Format Retail Association, by the end of the 2023 financial year, this sector comprised a massive 25.1% or an estimated $106.1 billion of all retail sales in Australia and covered a whopping 35% of all retail floor space.

A significant advantage for large format retailers lies in their lower cost per square metre compared to traditional shopping centres which propels the success of these businesses.

Rents are typically around $300 per square metre, however some big box retailing spaces will be stratospherically higher due to their premium and sought-after locations.

Not only do these assets offer investors secure income to highly regarded, established brands, they provide substantial upside due to their prized locations. Sites are generally large, flat and well-positioned, with ample arterial and motorway connections servicing significant population catchments.

Furthermore, large format retailers are underscored by their ability to not only survive the challenges posed by online shopping but to thrive by embracing innovation, collaboration, and sustainability providing a superior customer experience.

Efforts extend beyond energy efficiency to include shared initiatives like coordinating electricity purchasing, showcasing the commitment to cost-effective and sustainable practices.

A noteworthy trend within large format retailing is the collaborative effort by individual retailers to create synergies. While each operates independently, a growing sense of community permeates the sector.

With increased migration and population growth, strong demand for the products offered through large format retailing will further boost this sector.

The industry’s adaptability to changing market dynamics and its ability to foster a sense of community among retailers position it as a formidable presence in the evolving retail terrain. We believe these factors will stand as a testament to the resilience, evolution and success of the large format retail sector.

The Good Guys – East Maitland NSW

The upcoming auction of The Good Guys asset in Maitland promises to be a highlight at our first portfolio event for 2024. Nestled in the prime Hunter Region, this large format retail asset is a rare gem, offering a compelling investment opportunity.

With an impressive 70-year history and owned by JB Hi-Fi with a $5.18 billion market cap, The Good Guys offer stability and credibility in its name alone.

The consistently high demand for these assets is evident in the scarcity of such offerings. Our most recent sale was in March 2022 where an Invermay store transacted for $11 million, yielding an impressive 4.68%. In the preceding month, The Good Guys in Mildura achieved a notable yield of 3.75%.

The Maitland site, which will go under the hammer this month, boasts 16 years of tenure, ample parking, and exceptional highway exposure. Tenant-covered outgoings and annual CPI rent reviews further add to its allure, promising a hassle-free investment.

Strategically positioned in a booming Western Sydney precinct, this exceptional investment opportunity not only guarantees a stable future, but also positions itself as an invaluable asset due to its premium location and renowned tenant.

Located in the thriving suburb of Jamisontown, the 2,443sqm custom-designed plumbing and distribution facility is leased to ASX-listed Reece, aligning with a century-old brand known for its reliability and boasting a market cap of $14.3 billion.

With a new 10.3-year lease extending to 2034 with further options and a robust annual income of $680,000, this investment promises financial stability. Rent reviews are tied to either 4% or CPI, enhancing reliability.

Positioned in a region forecasted for a remarkable 67% population growth by 2041, the property aligns seamlessly with dynamic market trends, enhancing its long-term potential.


Stay up to date with our latest portfolio auctions & insights