The transformation of Vastned’s portfolio into prime retail property in selected European cities with historic city centres began in 2011. Over 80% of the current portfolio is comprised of property located in the historic centres of selected European cities, including Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Breda, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Paris, Bordeaux, Lille, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Madrid. The remainder of the portfolio is mostly made up of Belgian retail parks, supermarkets and high-quality retail property in smaller cities (especially in the Netherlands and Belgium) that yield good, stable returns.

 - Strategy

The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated some pre-existing trends and developments in the retail landscape, which have served as the basis for the strategy update announced in February 2021. Vastned is therefore further optimising its property portfolio and looking for diversification by adding new retailers to its tenant mix, with a particular focus on non-fashion retailers. At the same time, the company aims to develop more mixed-use assets in city centres. Within its retail portfolio, more focus will be placed on properties to suit tenants with a strong online presence that are also looking to strengthen their brands with physical retail locations; this combined physical and digital (‘phygital’) approach can facilitate a more engaging customer experience while reinforcing a brand’s messaging. Vastned also continues to concentrate its portfolio in so-called ‘winning’ cities, with the eventual aim of focusing its portfolio on between three and four cities per country, except for Spain where it remains concentrated in Madrid.

At the same time, Vastned’s organisation is adapting to match the new focus of the portfolio. The Vastned team will continue to manage the portfolio in a hands-on, proactive and pragmatic fashion while ensuring significant cost-efficiency at all times. Finally, Vastned continuous to pursue a conservative financing structure that allows for the implementation of its strategy. The long-term internal target for the loan-to-value ratio has been lowered from between 35% and 45% to a maximum of 40%. In addition, the company’s financing sources are broadened. This 3-pillar strategy is summarized below.

 - Strategy