Retailing Isn’t Totally Dead …
It Has Simply Changed

The Winery by Gazebo an Crown Street, Surry HillsIn last week’s article, you read a general overview of the Retail sector … and some of the issues currently confronting traders.

Let’s now take a quick look at three of the capital cities.


Whereas regional shopping centres have dominated the scene over the past 10 years or so, there has been a strong return to the neighbourhood shopping strips over the past few years.

It seems people are rewarding personal touch with loyalty. And as such, the vacancy rate for Chapel Street currently stands at just 3.7%; and for nearby Toorak Road is at 5.9%.

The food and entertainment tenancies appear to be trading strongly; and yet, fashion has remained reasonably resilient as well.


Initially, the suburban strip shopping centres have suffered from the decline in consumer spending.

However, a new breed of food and beverage retailers has produced a surge of fresh lettings.

Although fashion have been suffering, restaurants and wine bars have benefited from households wanting to “enjoy small pleasures, often”.

Crown Street in Surry Hills has seen the greatest benefit, followed by Darlinghurst and Bayswater Roads in Kings Cross, plus Oxford Street in Paddington.


Suburban strip centres have been going through a rough time. But once again, food and beverage seems to have come to the rescue — along with small wine bars.

The Claremont Quarter centre has certainly drawn traffic away from Bay View Terrace. But the shopping strips in Subiaco, Mount Lawley and Freemantle seemed to be holding their own.

Bottom Line: Whenever there is a major structural change within the economy, you’ll find that retailing generally adapts reasonably quickly — even though there may be some heartaches along the way.

However, you do need to watch out for an oversupply of something that has suddenly become very popular.


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