Dec 14, 2017 Last Updated 4:28 PM, Dec 12, 2017

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Westfield shopping centres reaping rewards of strong demand

escalator mallAusBNAusBN - Westfield (ASX:WFD) shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand are enjoying strong and sustained demand, despite increasingly difficult conditions in the retail industry.

Chief executive of Scentre Group (owner of Westfield’s Australia and NZ operations), Peter Allan said that store space is almost completely occupied across its 39 properties, at the company’s recent AGM.

“We're continuing to improve the retail product offering by introducing more on-trend and desirable brands,” said Allan.

“In turn, these brands are driving demand for retail space across our portfolio - which remains more than 99.5% leased.”

The strong demand for Westfield’s tenant brands is illustrated by the fact that the retail giant's 30 fastest growing tenants in Australia have increased their aggregate number of stores from 151 to 438 in the past five years.

Allan also reported growth across most key categories, notably specialty retail sales which grew by around 2.6% in 2016 at Australian Westfield centres.

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