Interesting Times Ahead - For Perth Retail Sector

Oct 22nd, 2012

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Article by:
Rebecca Gray

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From Sunday, 26 August 20 12 all general retail shops in the Perth metropolitan area, including major supermarkets and department stores, are entitled to open their doors on Sunday between 11am and 5pm.

Jim Tsagalis, Managing Director Lease Equity, believes the changes will be positive for Perth. 'It will become more accessible and people will use it more and it will provide people with the opportunity to shop when they want to,' said Mr Tsagalis.

Retail trading in the Perth CBD will also get a big shake-up when the doors open at Raine Square providing an additional 3,000m2 of retail and increased competition within the sector. Together Raine Square and C2 City Square will bring just over 24,000m2 of retail, food and everage space to the market.


'Rather than talking in terms of the strict amount of retail I think it is important to look at what type of retail it is,' said MrTsagalis.

'At Raine Square it is predominantly food and hospitality retailers to service the office towers and commuters so I think it will be very successful and will be fantastic for the city as it will activate Murray Street which has been a very quiet area of the city.

'I don't think the increased supply will have a detrimental effect, I think it will layer the city.' This layering in the Perth CBD is set to continue with a significant amount of retail forecast across major CBD developments including City Link and Elizabeth Quay.

'There are three important things to consider including where the retail is located, what it will be and the third element is timing,' Mr Tsagalis continued.

'These projects will take between five and 15 years to be fully developed and some of the retail, particularly at Perth Waterfront will be more festival type retail such as Canary Wharf and Darling Harbour so it will be very different to what is in the market.

'It may have more of an impact on places such as Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Harbour.' MrTsagalis believes there is still plenty of growth in store for the suburban centres too.

'Claremont is struggling a little at the moment as a result of Claremont Quarter and the large injection of retail but I am confident it will recover,' said Mr Tsagalis.

'I think there will be a lot of growth in areas where communities are continuing to grow, particularly the northern corridor because at present our regional or super regional shopping centres by national and international standards are still relatively small.

'Carousel is one of the largest and it still wouldn't rate in the top 15 in the country,' he continued. Despite the increasing number of retail stores throughout Perth, the National Australia Bank Online Retail Sales Index reports growth in traditional retail is just 4.1% compared to online
retail which is showing a 15.5% year-on-year growth rate.

Australia's total online spending was around $11.5 billion in the year ended June 20 12 and dominated by the 30's and 40's age groups. WA is third in the per capita online spending at 32% year-on-year which is more than double the national average behind ACT and the Northern
Territory.

Fashion is one of the most popular sectors for online shopping, sharing 47% of total online sales with online auctions, department stores, cosmetics and variety stores.

Darlene Gianoli is founder and director of Perth based online fashion retailer, Style Palace and notes the retail environment has had it challenges for both stores and online retailers.

'There is no doubt that retail has had its challenges across the board, especially fashion, but Style Palace has managed to maintain a growth in online sales plus expand our local, national and international client base every year since we launched in 2008,' said Ms Gianoli.

'The GFC has impacted on the business but l have just tried to be smarter with my buying and as innovative as possible with my marketing to ensure Style Palace stays ahead of the competition.

'The last four years have definitely shown me there is a growing appetite for online shopping and I think it will only continue to get stronger in the future.'

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