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DFO goes to the wall

By johnboy - 16 March 2012 26

dfo

The ABC reports that McGrath Nicol is overseeing Fyshwicks DFO:

Partner Shane O’Keeffe says it may take up to six months to find a buyer for the centre.

“We’ll run a very orderly campaign, it’s not a quick fire sale of the premises. We’ll seek a buyer over the next three to six months,” he said.

“There are buyers interested in these assets and there’s a good market for that at the moment. So we’ll shortly go out for expressions of interests and we’ll appoint an agent to assist us with the running of that sale.”

For not it’s business as usual.

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
DFO goes to the wall
GardeningGirl 2:54 pm 17 Mar 12

AsparagusSyndrome said :

madamcholet said :

Not surprising as it is totally crap. I just don’t believe Canberrans need or want that style of shopping. It’s so depressing to walk around these areas. When I lived on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, I used to frequent Waringah Mall, which whilst packed most of the time had a really good mix of open air and undercover shopping.

With online shopping booming, who goes to shopping centres unless they have to?

I fully agree – the design of shopping centres in Canberra ranges from ‘uninspiring’ to ‘antisocial’ to ‘urban disaster’.

Warringah (while not perfect itself) provides some useful ideas of how some things can be done better in regard to sunlight and natural daylight vs artificial light, fresh air vs recycled air, plants and trees vs neon signs and mobile phone stands, crowd flow vs choke points, integrating with the neighborhood instead of dominating and shutting it out, etc.

And it’s not only the layout. Just to walk through DFO gives me a headache from the noise – the constant high pitch squeal from god-knows-what, the uber-treble over-pumped saturated music crap, endless bellowing announcements from the spruiker buffoons some shops that must drive their neighbours batty, and the undamped concrete/glass/steel construction that makes for endless echo and reverb. It’s like living inside a bellowing TV ad. Simply awful. Nobody needs to shop that badly.

Oh yes! Uninspiring is about as good as it gets. Some malls haven’t designed any views or natural daylight but some have even got rid of what they had, like the big windows in the bank and the former Myer in the Hyperdome, what a waste. Cluttering the corridors with the little mobile phone, etc, kiosks which impedes pedestrian flow is silly and even more so when stores nearby are vacant. Good cheerful not too loud background music can add positively to a nice atmosphere but I’ve walked out of places as soon as I’ve done what I absolutely needed to get done because of the noise including the blaring music. “Like living inside a bellowing TV ad” haha, well said.

GardeningGirl 2:39 pm 17 Mar 12

devils_advocate said :

Felix the Cat said :

madamcholet said :

With online shopping booming, who goes to shopping centres unless they have to?

This

Yeah but there’s still plenty of things you have to go to shops for. I mean I realise DFO don’t sell suits (or none that anyone would wear) but trying to order a suit online would be an exercise in futility. Probably this extends to clothes in general.

I haven’t yet tried it myself because I too wonder how you successfully buy clothes and shoes online. Between oddities in labelling and variations in brands and differences among different sewers even for supposedly the same item in the same size I have had enough problems with sizes even going into a store. But I’ve talked to an increasing number of people who are doing it not just for price but for quality and choice and they think it’s well worth the risk of sometimes getting something not quite right which can then be given to a friend or sold on Ebay. I know someone whose favourite pair of comfortable shoes was bought online, surprisingly. Sometimes ordering something online is out of sheer frustration because you can’t find it in the stores. I wonder how many salespeople actually pass on to management the customer comments about “do you have this” or “why don’t you stock that”?

I haven’t been to DFO in a while but to me it’s just another mall, the corridors aren’t as fancy as the Canberra Centre but the toilets are better.

AsparagusSyndrome 1:34 pm 17 Mar 12

madamcholet said :

Not surprising as it is totally crap. I just don’t believe Canberrans need or want that style of shopping. It’s so depressing to walk around these areas. When I lived on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, I used to frequent Waringah Mall, which whilst packed most of the time had a really good mix of open air and undercover shopping.

With online shopping booming, who goes to shopping centres unless they have to?

I fully agree – the design of shopping centres in Canberra ranges from ‘uninspiring’ to ‘antisocial’ to ‘urban disaster’. Warringah (while not perfect itself) provides some useful ideas of how some things can be done better in regard to sunlight and natural daylight vs artificial light, fresh air vs recycled air, plants and trees vs neon signs and mobile phone stands, crowd flow vs choke points, integrating with the neighborhood instead of dominating and shutting it out, etc.

And it’s not only the layout. Just to walk through DFO gives me a headache from the noise – the constant high pitch squeal from god-knows-what, the uber-treble over-pumped saturated music crap, endless bellowing announcements from the spruiker buffoons some shops that must drive their neighbours batty, and the undamped concrete/glass/steel construction that makes for endless echo and reverb. It’s like living inside a bellowing TV ad. Simply awful. Nobody needs to shop that badly.

c_c 1:25 am 17 Mar 12

Pandy said :

Cheap SLR ameras on-line? They mostly are grey imports with no Aussie warranty. Thats why the brick and mortar stores are important.

Get real.

They all come out of the same factory in Japan or Taiwan.

Warranty is between the consumer and the manufacturer, the retailers plays no part.

When you buy a Canon, a Nikon or a Panasonic dSLR which costs say $400-800 above what the US price is, what you’re really doing is prepaying for a few hundred dollars in repairs if you ever claim the warranty.

Retailers are struggling to make anything off camera anymore, or many electronics for that matter. They have only themselves to blame for clinging on to old business models and driving each other’s prices to the bone.

Pandy 11:16 pm 16 Mar 12

Cheap SLR ameras on-line? They mostly are grey imports with no Aussie warranty. Thats why the brick and mortar stores are important.

devils_advocate 5:11 pm 16 Mar 12

Felix the Cat said :

madamcholet said :

With online shopping booming, who goes to shopping centres unless they have to?

This

Yeah but there’s still plenty of things you have to go to shops for. I mean I realise DFO don’t sell suits (or none that anyone would wear) but trying to order a suit online would be an exercise in futility. Probably this extends to clothes in general. Ditto things like cookwear, or knives, you can really only tell how useful they’ll be when they’re in your hands. Also fresh food, I wouldn’t trust some store packer to choose my avocados or salmon fillets. Also hardware is probably like this, and anythign where you might actually need sensible advice on comparing two products against your own needs (although this is getting rarer and rarer).

Really the big areas of usefulness for online shopping are commodities that have very little product differentiation or experiential component. Things like consumer electronics (maybe not hi-fi gear); books; and this is reflected in the successful online stores. Alternatively I guess it works as a peer-to-peer arrangement like ebay where the online stores are secondary.

In short, I still have a significant use for bricks and mortar stores.

Felix the Cat 4:55 pm 16 Mar 12

madamcholet said :

With online shopping booming, who goes to shopping centres unless they have to?

This

Henry82 4:52 pm 16 Mar 12

EvanJames said :

You’ve got to be pretty motivated (or bored) to keep trooping right around.

i agree, i understand why they did it, but imo it makes the place less attractive for shoppers.

EvanJames 2:49 pm 16 Mar 12

Primal said :

These days, I find myself going to DFO for the Homemaker area more than the outlet stores.

Yeah, me too. And I’d much rather go to those shops when they had Fyshwick frontages, you could park right out front and put your new furniture and stuff into your car. I miss the Freedom Furniture shop, really enjoyed stooging around in there.

I rarely go right around the back part of the clothes bit. I park under the home area (dpeneding on which shop i’m going to) and the other shops I like are quite close to where it crosses over. (the cotton sheets shop, and Rivers cheap T shirts shop).

You’ve got to be pretty motivated (or bored) to keep trooping right around.

Primal 1:41 pm 16 Mar 12

These days, I find myself going to DFO for the Homemaker area more than the outlet stores.

madamcholet 1:09 pm 16 Mar 12

Not surprising as it is totally crap. I just don’t believe Canberrans need or want that style of shopping. It’s so depressing to walk around these areas. When I lived on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, I used to frequent Waringah Mall, which whilst packed most of the time had a really good mix of open air and undercover shopping.

With online shopping booming, who goes to shopping centres unless they have to?

Keijidosha 11:54 am 16 Mar 12

shirty_bear said :

Touch of irony … CostCo has (re)vitalised the Brand Depot area, which looks like being the ultimate winner. The former occupants out there must be unimpressed.

Unless CostCo was somehow responsible for the failure of DFO I can’t see the irony. The way I see it Brand Depot and DFO failed because their core premise was ‘factory direct prices’ but the reality was ‘mostly retail prices’ – the result was a foregone conclusion.

Also the redevelopment of Majura Park isn’t based on the previous ‘factory outlet’ model, so the former tennants aren’t being slighted. However they can take solice in the knowledge that the latest reincarnation may not be any more successful than Brand Depot. The Majura Parkway plans shows that the whole precinct will be bypassed by quite a distance, with no direct on/off ramps. Unless that plan changes I predict that the area will become a retail wasteland. Ahh the circle of retail life.

Erg0 11:41 am 16 Mar 12

From the article, I get the impression that the problem has less to do with the centre’s patronage and more to do with the owners’ leveraging.

EvanJames 11:25 am 16 Mar 12

Yeah, the signage is almost finished… Big signs with Woolworths, Big W and Dick Smith on the front. They were advertising tenancies for small retailers also, and now the banner says only a few left. The chemist outlet next to Trade Secret is moving into the brand depot complex at Easter, too.

I go to DFO specifically to visit particular shops, and strategically park so I don’t have to walk half way around the place to get to them. Still seems to be a good number of people shopping there, but it’s not chockers like the one in Sydney near Homebush.

shirty_bear 10:42 am 16 Mar 12

Touch of irony … CostCo has (re)vitalised the Brand Depot area, which looks like being the ultimate winner. The former occupants out there must be unimpressed.

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