Westfield parent company Scentre Group has recorded low growth in key discretionary retailers such as fashion, department stores and footwear for the second half of FY23 compared to the prior corresponding period.
Scentre Group recorded the biggest drop in growth for jewellery at negative 5.4% in H2 FY23, with low positive growth in department stores (2.2%), fashion (3%) and footwear (6%).
Compared to H2 FY19, fashion and footwear were up 16.8% and 8.4%, while department stores hit just 1.1% – lower than its H2 FY22 growth. Discount department stores were up 23.5% on Fy19.
Meanwhile, Scentre Group recorded growth in funds from operations to $556.6 million for H2 FY23 driven by a 9.8% lift in customer visitations to 314 million.
CEO Elliott Rusanow said this was driven by centre activations in the first half of 2023, including a partnership with Disney to launch Disney100 pop-up stores, and Netball Australia.
Westfield has also launched a new partnership with Live Nation to bring live and free music performances in centres.
“Our strategy has enabled our business partners to achieve annual sales of $27.8 billion to 30 June 2023, an increase of $4.9 billion or 21.6% compared to the same period in 2022,” Rusanow said. “This represents another record level of sales across our portfolio.
“During the half, business partners achieved sales of $13.1 billion, an increase of 9.1%. When compared to the same period in 2019, business partner sales are 13.6% higher.
Rusanow said occupancy for Westfield centres is at 99% at June 30, 2022. Scentre Group completed 1,567 leasing deals and welcomed 585 new merchants, including 125 new brands to its portfolio.
“We will continue our focus on creating destinations where