Savills Investment Management (Savills IM) has acquired two properties in Aarhus, Denmark, on behalf of its Nordic III retail fund for €32 mln.
The first asset is a newly-constructed building and the second was constructed in 2009 with a lettable area of around 10,800 m2. The properties are fully leased on a long-term basis to six tenants, including Elgiganten, Silvan, Sport24, Carl's Junior, Sunset Boulevard and PetWorld.
'The growth of e-commerce is particularly disruptive for the retail sector. Nevertheless, we believe that the physical dimension will remain an important point of contact between retailers and consumers,' said Peter Broström, head of Nordics at Savills IM.
'The entire demographic spectrum prefers to shop in a physical store for social and entertainment reasons, eating and testing products on the spot. Physical and online shops will co-exist as the demand for omnichannel solutions and services grows.'
Nordic III is a core retail fund that aims for sustainable income and growth, according to Savills AM. It aims to provide an annual total return of 7-9%, including income of at least 5.5%.
Its focus is to identify inner-city commercial buildings with high earnings potential in prime locations. These include shopping centres, specialist stores and retail parks in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
Savills IM said it had identified significant opportunities for the fund in Scandinavia, which offers strong macroeconomic fundamentals. Robust economic and population growth in the region are all set to boost consumer spending, and therefore local retailing, which will provide strong tailwinds for the fund.
Growth forecasts for the next five years show that the Nordic economies are expected to outperform the Eurozone. Scandinavian retail real estate generates attractive and stable income due to long-term leases linked to inflation.
The target size for the fund, which is open to further investors, is €500 mln.
'Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark and, in addition to positive population growth, also has a large catchment area, which is why we regard these new assets as a perfect addition to the Nordic III fund,' said Sofia Sandh, senior investment manager, Savills IM.
'In particular, these properties benefit from their proximity to an IKEA store, which enjoys a high volume of customer traffic,' Sandh concluded.