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Exciting times in Retail
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We are experiencing exciting times in Retail!

In Sydney and in Melbourne we are seeing massive vacancies in Retail Shopping strips like Oxford Street – Paddington and Bridge Road – Richmond. Vacancies up to 22% have been reported in Oxford Street alone. Yesterday I was traveling on a tram down Bridge Road in Richmond (Melbourne). I was staggered to see the number of shops that were either empty, for lease or had signs advertising “Closing Down Sale”. I was so taken by the number that I started counting them. From when I started counting, I counted 19 on one side of the street alone.

Whilst I always try to be positive and to look for opportunities in this time of rapid change in the Retail Industry it certainly is concerning when we are told “how well the Australian Economy is performing”!!

BUT not everyone is going backwards! Apple is growing! Zara is expanding! Is it the “e-shopping revolution” or is there something that all these failed retailers are doing wrong?

You don’t have to look far to see that many of these shops and a lot of those that haven’t yet failed all basically look the same, have very similar products or services and have very little to differentiate them from the shop next door.  In Bridge Road, predominantly an “Outlet Strip”, the retailers are forced to compete on the basis of price. This creates a downward spiral and, when you factor in the e-retailer who doesn’t have the same overheads, is a battle that can not be won.

The exciting challenge facing Retailers and their designers is to create an environment and in store experience that not only presents unique products in such a way that they can’t be resisted but that also creates an experience that leaves the shopper wanting to return for more.

4 responses

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    Eoin Barnett

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