In France, Wereldhave owns a portfolio of six shopping centres, managed by a dedicated in-house team of 46 employees. It is a relatively new organisation, built in 2015 following the acquisition in December 2014. Two of the centres are located in Rouen. The other centres are in Le Havre, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Argenteuil (Greater Paris). The centres are relatively new with modest capital expenditure requirements for the coming years. Three of the centres are inner city centres with an important role within the local community. The other centres have a leisure and experience angle, with large cinemas, restaurants and a broad fashion offer. The average size of the centres is just under 40,000 m² GLA and footfall is at an average of 6.8m visitors per year.
All centres have a high penetration rate within their catchment area. This is the percentage of the population that visits the centre at least once a month. The catchment areas are very sizeable and their spending power is above the French national average. Sales and footfall of the centres have outperformed the French CNCC index over the previous years. This index consists in the 100 largest shopping centres in France and also includes superregional malls. The centres house the main fashion brands, have strong hypermarkets and offer a broad range of entertainment and leisure. Docks 76 in Rouen is the only centre of the portfolio that does not have a hypermarket. The tenant base is well spread with limited maturities for the next three years. The top 10 tenants represent approx. 25% of rental income.
In 2016, 47 leases, rotations and renewals were signed in 2016, 9% of the portfolio. Particularly in the first half of the year, take-up was strong. Bankruptcies represented an impact of € 1.2m, but due to the strong letting results, occupancy increased during the year from 91.1% to 94.4%. Like-for-like rental growth amounted to 1.4%, which is 130 bps above the indexation. Footfall decreased by 0.7% (market average -1.2%).
Wereldhave managed to attract large retailers to open their first shops outside Paris. Rituals signed for Docks 76 in Rouen, their first shop outside Paris and Leroy Merlin opened their first urban concept store in France in Rivetoile, Strasbourg. Leasing activity was strongest in Docks Vauban, following the signing of a Primark. Several food concepts were added to the centre, to increase the food & beverage offer and increase dwell time.
The French committed development pipeline consists of the Primark for Docks Vauban in Le Havre. The improvement of the inner climate in Docks Vauban by creating sliding doors and tourniquets was completed in 2016 and the first reactions are very positive.