One wouldn’t describe the CEO outlooks as ‘up-beat’, but it’s true to say there’s a lot of confidence out there. And rightly so. Reading through the outlooks, without exception there’s major reference to community, to the wellbeing of the shoppers; to contribution. This is where we differ from our overseas counterparts. It’s not that we have different or better values, it’s simply that, in this industry, in this part of the world, we recognise the link between a corporate commitment to social progress and pure unadulterated capitalistic profit.
Swing the pendulum as far as it goes – to the horizontal – and in terms of making profit, there are two extremes; two strategies that may be adopted. You can make profit by contribution or exploitation. Exploitation might produce higher, short-term dividends, quick fixes, fast money; but a corporate commitment to social progress will deliver long-term, sustainable and greater returns.
Nowhere is this demonstrated so clearly than it is in the Australian (and New Zealand, of course) shopping centre industry. For decades, we have focused on the community, delivered, managed and marketed our centres as community focal points. Yes, we’ve been tough, yes, we’ve been hard negotiators and yes, we’ve made business decisions but underlining it all, contribution to community has been fundamental. And it’s paid off!
What you see in the following submissions is that underlying, constantly present, fundamental reference to community. And from that, comes this long-term, sustainable return. We see our product, the shopping centre, as an integral component of community infrastructure and that directs our strategies, our business decisions, our views and assessments of the commercial landscape. It marks our point of difference from our international colleagues.
This is a great industry in which to be involved. We should take time out to pat ourselves on the back now and again!
Premium members can read the 2019 CEO Outlooks below.
The CEOs also spoke at the 2019 Big Guns lunch and videos can now be viewed here…