With sales over Christmas for most retailers being good but nothing to rave about, the every day man (or woman) is starting to know what our industry and retailers have been well aware of since the dawn of retail.
It is tough out there.
We've all no doubt heard of Rhodes & Beckett and Herringbone's voluntary administration but when you list out the brands that have been in trouble over the last 12 months, you start to see that this isn't restricted to one category nor, with whispers around the fire, is it over. Those to go include: Australian Geographic, Dick Smith, Howards Storage World, David Lawrence, Marcs, Chicabooti, Paper Scissors, Temt (New Zealand), Valley Girl (New Zealand), Pumpkin Patch, Ice Design, Laura Ashley and Jones the Grocer. These are just the ones I can remember!
Every time a brand is brought out and saved, even with a trimmed portfolio, there is a collective sigh that the brand at least will survive, jobs will be saved and more hoardings don't have to go up into shopping centres especially the ones that have been unable to fill the bigger boxes. I still see some Dick Smith sites empty or with temporary tenants in there.
Everyone says there will be more to come in 2017. I wonder what effects this will have on rents and the confidence to continue brand roll outs.
With only a few weeks left for the year we're excited by the number of stores that we've had a hand in opening throughout this time and the quality is ever increasing in retail which is fantastic to see as more people flock to the internet for ease of sales. Retail has become about an experience.
Today I had the pleasure of making it to the opening of Westfield Warringah's lastest development. Having grown up in Frenches Forrest, this was once upon a time my old stopping ground and it was just called The Mall, as I'm sure most locals still standby. Although I can only recognise the old Hoyts location (now Mall Music), Mcdonalds (now possibly part of Country Growers & some bathrooms) and of course SDS (now Bank West) - I use to skate.
To go from that old centre into a more modern centre was certainly a big change but even the first development which saw Level 1 retail being a brand new idea for the northern beaches locals was starting to look well worn by the time this development came along.
Stenton had several clients involved in both the new development or back filling spots in the existing malls and the fitouts are of an incredible standard. With so many developments occurring across Australia there has been more investment by both landlords and retailers in how a centre feels to a customer and with each new development, design is being pushed bigger and better.
Below is a slideshow of the Brands we played some part in placing into the centre but the leasing is only the beginning, how they created such fantastic stores is a mystery to me.