Having recently visited Melbourne to see the Australian Grand Prix, (Motor Racing is dear to my heart), I took the opportunity to revisit the Chadstone Shopping Centre which had completed a major refurbishment in 2016, and to also compare Melbourne's transport structure to that of Auckland. Over the years, Chadstone Shopping Centre has constantly adjusted itself in the face of changing retail environments and the 2016 refurbishment is no exception.
It was interesting to observe how far bricks and mortar retail has gone to reinvent itself and create a destination to compete with online retailing.
For those that haven’t visited Chadstone, it is now the largest shopping centre in Australia and boasts some 530 stores over 200,000 square meters and nearly 10,000 carparks. Anchor tenants include H&M, David Jones, Sephora, Woolworths, Coles, Hoyts Cinemas and over 80 food and beverage outlets. The range of food and beverage available is very substantial and caters for all consumer appetites. The centre also has plans for a new $130 million 250 room Sofitel Hotel, which in itself will add another dimension to the centres overall appeal and move it into a potential mixed-use environment.
The Centre now is truly impressive and boasts an array of retail and service offerings that arguably surpass traditional CBD shopping environments.
Rather than repeat typeface centres that mirror image each other, Chadstone has taken some significant steps with its tenant mix, parking, services and signage to showcase an impressive new experience for its consumers over what is on offer from other shopping centre owners and competitors.
The need for shopping centre owners to experiment and to personalise their retail offerings are however becoming more important for Bricks and Mortar to survive. Firstly Landlords need to do their part in allowing these stores to operate on lower overhead structures and rentals that they can sustain to grow their respective opportunities. This comes about with pop up locations, shorter-term leases and allowing lower capital costs in certain precincts and retailers need to think outside of the box and create opportunities, products, and services that better compete with online businesses as competing on range or price isn’t really today significant enough to protect the bricks and mortar offering.
Traveling around Melbourne CBD on public trams is also extremely easy as any visitor will tell you and having apps on your phone that tell you how far away each tram is gives users real confidence. With the number of events that were going on with the Grand Prix, AFL and concerts in Melbourne we questioned why we actually needed a car to get around when you can get pretty much anywhere you want via tram, train, bus or taxi/Uber.
Auckland has a long way to go to provide this level of service whereby one accident on the motorway can pretty much gridlock the city.
Let’s push on with improved affordable public transportation that allows visitors and workers to travel around the city without the need for private vehicles. As long as we have confidence in a reliable system then more people will use it. We all acknowledge it will cost ratepayers a bit more in the short to medium term but the benefits to the city in the long term should outweigh any short-term pain as current costs will only increase, and long-term financial benefits will far outweigh any negatives.
At 212,000 square metres, Chadstone is more than double the size of Sylvia Park, New Zealand’s largest mall. The latest expansion boosted Chadstone’s size by 50,000 square metres, including new retailers, cinemas, dining precincts and an office tower. It has been Australia’s highest-trading mall for many years, with sales of $1.85 billion in 2017. Increasingly, it’s becoming more than just a shopping centre, with the new office tower, indoor Legoland and a planned hotel.
In The Press
Local Media Highlights Monday 16th April to Tuesday 24th April
Jucy Opens 'POD' hotel in Queenstown
Car rental and tourism operator Jucy has opened a "pod hotel" in Queenstown aimed at millennial travellers in a city feeling the squeeze from the tourism boom. Jucy said the five-storey, 276-bed hotel was expected to provide relief from a worsening shortage of accommodation in the region.
Government looking at further Kiwibuild sites
Phil Twyford says the government is considering intensive housing options in Panmure, Manukau and Henderson. Construction work not likely to start at Unitec site in Mt Albert until next year.
Quake-weakened Wellington tower selling for a fifth of earlier price
Stock Exchange-listed Precinct Properties has clinched an agreement to sell the former earthquake-damaged Deloitte House at 10 Brandon St, Wellington, for $10.2 million.
The Property Institute warns Government
The country's facing the prospect of an "exodus" of landlords that will have a "devastating impact" on the rental property market following the Government's moves to 'ring fence' property tax losses, the Property Institute of New Zealand is warning.