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Taubman Centers' Subsidiary Unveils Mall in South Korea

·3 min read

Taubman Centers Inc.’s TCO subsidiary Taubman Asia along with its joint venture (JV) partner Shinsegae Property unveiled a shopping center — new Starfield Anseong — in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.

The modern shopping, entertainment and dining destination spans one million square feet of space and is the largest mall in the southern region of Gyeonggi. It is the second JV between the companies and Taubman Asia’s fourth development project. The property is fully leased and 90% of tenants are open. Full occupancy is expected to be reached by 2020 end.

The property’s location in one of the fastest-growing regions of South Korea along with its 280 retail, dining and entertainment offerings will likely attract decent mall footfall. This is likely to support net operating income (NOI) revenue growth over the long term.

Anchor tenants include Shinsegae Factory Store, E-Mart, Toy Kingdom Aquafield, Sports Monster and Megabox. Moreover, the mall includes 100 first-store-of-the-kind brands in this region of Greater Seoul.

Retail brands include well-known international brands like Zara, Nike, Uniqlo, H&M and Vans as well as national brands like SPAO, Genesis, Beanpole and Studio Tomboy. It also offers 113,000 square feet of dining space.

However, mall traffic continues to suffer amid the rapid shift in customers’ shopping preferences and patterns, with online purchases growing by leaps and bounds. These have made retailers reconsider their footprint and eventually opt for store closures. In addition, retailers unable to cope with competition have been filing bankruptcies. This has emerged as a pressing concern for retail REITs like Taubman Centers, as the trend is considerably bringing down the demand for the retail real estate space and impacting occupancy rates.

Moreover, consumers are by and large avoiding crowded public spaces due to the pandemic. This is an added concern for retail REITs as it is affecting tenants’ financial condition, thereby, making it difficult to meet their rental obligations. In fact, apart from Taubman Centers, these are hurting other retail REITs, including Macerich MAC, Simon Property SPG and Kimco KIM.

Amid the current lackluster retail real estate environment, shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have lost 23.% over the past six months against its industry’s growth of 9.2%.



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